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Typology of end-of-life priorities in Saudi females: averaging analysis and Q-methodology

Authors Hammami M, Hammami S, Amer H, Khodr N

Received 2 February 2016

Accepted for publication 17 March 2016

Published 17 May 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 781—794


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Muhammad M Hammami,1,2 Safa Hammami,1 Hala A Amer,1 Nesrine A Khodr1

1Clinical Studies and Empirical Ethics Department, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, 2College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Background: Understanding culture-and sex-related end-of-life preferences is essential to provide quality end-of-life care. We have previously explored end-of-life choices in Saudi males and found important culture-related differences and that Q-methodology is useful in identifying intraculture, opinion-based groups. Here, we explore Saudi females’ end-of-life choices.
Methods: A volunteer sample of 68 females rank-ordered 47 opinion statements on end-of-life issues into a nine-category symmetrical distribution. The ranking scores of the statements were analyzed by averaging analysis and Q-methodology.
Results: The mean age of the females in the sample was 30.3 years (range, 19–55 years). Among them, 51% reported average religiosity, 78% reported very good health, 79% reported very good life quality, and 100% reported high-school education or more. The extreme five overall priorities were to be able to say the statement of faith, be at peace with God, die without having the body exposed, maintain dignity, and resolve all conflicts. The extreme five overall dis-priorities were to die in the hospital, die well dressed, be informed about impending death by family/friends rather than doctor, die at peak of life, and not know if one has a fatal illness. Q-methodology identified five opinion-based groups with qualitatively different characteristics: “physical and emotional privacy concerned, family caring” (younger, lower religiosity), “whole person” (higher religiosity), “pain and informational privacy concerned” (lower life quality), “decisional privacy concerned” (older, higher life quality), and “life quantity concerned, family dependent” (high life quality, low life satisfaction). Out of the extreme 14 priorities/dis-priorities for each group, 21%–50% were not represented among the extreme 20 priorities/dis-priorities for the entire sample.
Conclusion: Consistent with the previously reported findings in Saudi males, transcendence and dying in the hospital were the extreme end-of-life priority and dis-priority, respectively, in Saudi females. Body modesty was a major overall concern; however, concerns about pain, various types of privacy, and life quantity were variably emphasized by the five opinion-based groups but masked by averaging analysis.

Keywords: end-of-life priorities, end-of-life dis-priorities, Q-methodology, score-averaging, Muslims, Saudi females

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