Awareness of the Importance of and Adherence to Patients’ Rights Among Physicians and Nurses in Oman: An analytical cross-sectional study across different levels of healthcare

Aisha N. Al-Saadi, Salah B. A. Slimane, Rawya A. Al-Shibli, Fatema Y. Al-Jabri

Abstract


Objectives: This study aimed to determine the extent to which physicians and nurses in Oman were aware of the importance of and adhere to patients’ rights and whether this differed according to role, nationality, position and institutional healthcare level. Methods: This analytical cross-sectional study was carried out between December 2015 and March 2016 at various governmental healthcare institutions in Oman. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 1,385 practitioners at all healthcare levels. Results: A total of 1,213 healthcare practitioners (response rate: 87.58%) completed the survey, of which 685 (56.47%) were nurses and 528 (43.53%) were physicians. Overall, awareness of the importance of patients’ rights was high (91.51%), although adherence to these rights in practice was low (63.81%). The right of the patient to be informed was considered least important and was least adhered to (81.2% and 56.39%). Nationality, role and institutional level were significantly associated with awareness (P = 0.002, 0.024 and 0.034, respectively). Non-Omani staff were significantly more likely than Omani staff to be aware of (odds ratio [OR] = 1.696; P = 0.032) and adhere to (OR = 2.769; P <0.001) patient rights. Furthermore, tertiary care staff were twice as likely as primary care staff to perceive the importance of patient rights (OR = 2.076; P = 0.019). While physicians were more likely than nurses to be aware of the importance of patient rights, this difference was not significant (OR = 1.516; P = 0.126). Conclusion: These findings may help inform measures to enhance awareness of and adherence to patients’ rights in Oman.

Keywords: Medical Ethics; Patient Rights; Awareness; Adherence; Physicians; Nurses; Oman.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18295/squmj.2019.19.03.005

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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