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Dissertation Defense - Majed Alharbi

This is a past event.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at 10:00am to 12:00pm

Virtual Event

ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION

AN EXPLORATION OF AN IMAM'S PERSPECTIVE: THE ROLE OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS IN SUPPORTING DIABETES SELF CARE IN SAUDI ARABIA

by

Majed Alharbi

Florida International University, 2023

Miami, Florida

Professor Ellen Brown, Co-Major Professor

Associate Professor Amy Paul-Ward, Co-Major Professor

There is growing interest in engaging faith-based organizations and religious leaders in supporting congregant chronic disease management. In Saudi Arabia, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is prevalent (2nd highest in the Middle East), and the country has the 7th highest T2DM prevalence rate globally. Imams are the community religious leader in Saudi Arabia with established, often ongoing, relationships with congregants. However, there has been scant research focused on the role of Imams in supporting disease management and no research focused on T2DM self-care in Saudi Arabia. This qualitative study aimed to explore cultural and religious barriers and facilitators associated with adherence to diabetes self-care by exploring Imams’ knowledge and perceptions of diabetes self-care; and the potential role of Imams in the promotion of adherence to diabetes self-care. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 Imams who deliver the Friday’s sermon. A purposeful snowball sampling strategy was used. A Thematic Analysis (TA) approach allowed for the identification of the themes and their respective categories. The study findings revealed Imams had a perceived low level of health-relative knowledge about T2DM and its risk factors. For example, some participants were unaware of the significance of self-care in managing T2DM. Several participants reported that the Saudi lifestyle and religious beliefs impacted health care seeking behavior, diet, and exercise.  Identified barriers to adhering to diabetes self-care included potential religious misconceptions about Islamic concepts such as reliance on God, being patient, and destiny. In conclusion, this study provides insights into the religious-cultural determinants of T2DM self-care and the potential role of Imams. These findings suggest if the Imams in Saudi Arabia are provided with relevant education, this could be an impetus for congregant support, motivation, and correction of religious misconceptions in relation to T2DM self-care. These study findings can serve as a guide for healthcare providers and policymakers in developing effective interventions to promote T2DM self-care within the Saudi community.

Virtual Defense: October 18, 2023 10AM – 12 NOON EST

Defense Zoom Link: https://fiu.zoom.us/j/3053481312

If a code is needed it is 3053481312

 

Dial-In Information

Virtual Defense: October 18, 2023 10AM – 12 NOON EST

Defense Zoom Link: https://fiu.zoom.us/j/3053481312

If a code is needed it is 3053481312

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