Knowledge, perception, action and intention to modify healthy lifestyle behaviour in Omani patients at risk of stroke
Alalawi, Salwa Saleh Mohammed
Morbidity due to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) has become a worldwide epidemic. As a result, the United Nations (2015) Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs) included goal (3.4) that aims to reduce the premature mortality from NCDs by one third. All countries, regardless of income, are required to develop strategies and achieve a reduction in the burden of NCDs. This study, conducted in the Sultanate of Oman, aimed to explore individuals’ knowledge, perceptions, actions and intentions to modify their lifestyle to reduce their risk of stroke. The Health Belief Model (HBM) was used as the underpinning theoretical framework to provide a broader conceptual understanding of the Omani sociocultural and structural influences on individuals’ lifestyles. A convergent mixed methods design within a realist social constructionism methodology was used. Both quantitative (344 questionnaires) and qualitative (10 interviews) data were integrated using a narrative weaving approach. The study results confirm that both agency and structure influenced the adoption of healthy behaviours in Oman. The study indicates that the study participants are likely to engage in health-related behaviours when they perceived the benefit of such a course of actions in term of it reducing their risk of stroke. The study found that in the Omani setting, individual factors such as fear, family experience and physical sickness, the psychological status of chronic conditions and a cost-benefit analysis of the behaviour influence the individuals’ decisions to practise a healthy lifestyle. The major finding in the study showed that perceptions of risk vary among individuals who share the same culture and religion, particularly individual perception of religious belief was found to influence their susceptibility to stroke risk. In addition, the study identified some sociocultural and structural factors that influenced the individuals’ decisions to engage in a healthy lifestyle. This study presents an extended HBM to incorporate the role of individual religious beliefs as an individual factor. The study suggests that health improvement plans are needed in Oman to develop both individual- and community- level interventions to achieve the target of SDGs for NCDs.