Al-Turki, Khaled (2014) An investigation into the perceptions of male smokers and health care professionals in the smoking cessation clinics in Riyadh on the Tobacco Control Program in Saudi Arabia. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Aim: The aim of this dissertation is to produce an original piece of investigative research into perceptions of smoking cessation services provided by the TCP in the Riyadh region.

Objectives: In order to realise this aim, the dissertation has the following objectives:

1. To investigate perceptions of the extent of the health care (smoking cessation) services provided under the TCP for smokers in the Riyadh region.

2. To investigate the perceptions of male clients and health care services professionals in the smoking cessation clinics in this region, on the effectiveness of the clinics in raising awareness of the dangers of smoking, in order to encourage smokers to quit.

3. To identify the perceived strengths and limitations of health care (smoking cessation) services provided for smokers in the Riyadh region specifically as a platform for developing those strengths in the future.

Design: Primary data was collected through questionnaires administered to male clients attending the smoking cessation clinics in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and professional staff working in those same clinics. The views of respondents represent their individual subjective experience of one specific aspect of an objective social experience, in this case the functioning of the Tobacco Control Program.

Methods: A questionnaire was devised based on the policies and activities of the Tobacco Control Programme in Saudi Arabia. Convenience sampling was used, conducting the survey among 500 male clients attending the smoking cessation clinics in Riyadh and 30 staff in the clinics. The sampling was purposive, seeking to obtain the views of service-users and service-providers in the clinics, as those who would be expected to be more informed about the Tobacco Control Programme rather than a random sample drawn from the general population, such as a household survey. The Pilot Study was conducted in a smoking cessation clinic run by an anti-smoking charity in Riyadh.

Results: The results obtained from both sets of questionnaires indicated in Sections A and B that respondents considered that the Tobacco Control Program was actively engaged in a series of activities relating to tobacco control, in raising awareness of the hazards of smoking and providing treatment. Responses in Sections C and D suggested that clients and staff


perceived that the Tobacco Control Program was operating effectively, despite some difficulties occasioned by a lack of resources.

Conclusions: The level of satisfaction with the performance of the Tobacco Control Program indicated in the responses was high. The uniformity of the responses may be responsible due to two factors – a relative lack of cultural diversity among respondents, and limitations of the study itself in overcoming potential problems of reporting bias. Given the setting of the study and the methods chosen, this may have resulted in a measure of unwillingness to criticise aspects of the Program. Nevertheless, as the first study of satisfaction with the TCP since its inception in 2002, valuable lessons will be learned for future surveys to obtain data, perhaps based more closely on surveys such as those conducted in the UK to measure satisfaction with the NHS. A more standardised international approach should, therefore, be the way forward in terms of research design and methods.

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