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Health Education in Saudi Arabia, Research Paper Example

Pages: 24

Words: 6526

Research Paper

List of Abbreviations

For the purpose of this research, the following terminologies will be defined as presented in Table 1, which clarifies the use of abbreviations in the thesis.

Abbreviation Definition
AIDS Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
ATA American Telemedicine Association
E-Health Electronic Healthcare Services
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GHIs Gross Health Initiatives
GIS Geographical Informational Systems
HI Health Informatics
HIT Health Information Technology
HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus
ICT Information Communication Technology
IT Information Technology
IXP Internet Exchange Point
KSA Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Mb Megabyte
MDGs Millennium Development Goals
mHealth Mobile Health
MIB Medical Information Bus
MOH Ministry of Health
PCs Personal Computers
RAC Rural Assistance Center
SMS Short Message Service
UN United Nations
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
WHO World Health Organization

Table 1: List of Abbreviations

Use of Mobile Phones to Disseminate Health Education in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), shown in Figure 1, is the largest of the Arab states in Western Asia based on its land area and constitutes the majority of the Arabian Peninsula, but is only the second largest state in the Arab world geographically (CIA World Factbook, 2015).

Map of KSA

Figure 1: Map of KSA

Founded in the in the year 1932,  the KSA has one of the world’s fastest growing economies since they control approximately 16% of global petroleum reserves, ranking the country as the largest exporter of petroleum (CIA World Factbook, 2015).  This accounts for about 80% of all budget revenues, 45% of the gross domestic product (GDP), and 90% of national export earnings (CIA World Factbook, 2015).  As an Islamic nation, the KSA is presently ruled by King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz as of 2015, acting as both the head of state as well as the prime minister, and governs through Shariah Law (CIA World Factbook, 2015).

Mobile telephones are considered as a form of information communication technology (ICT) or information technology (IT) that has greatly improved over the years as a result of perpetual innovations that have upgraded the capabilities of these devices.  Modern mobile apparatuses enable the user to acquire, process, store, and retrieve data and interface with computer devices (Cao, Krebs, Toubekis, & Makram, 2007).

International healthcare networks are integrating mobile health (mHealth) user platforms as a form of ICT in an effort to improve the quality of service through expanded access to services as well as health education information (Callan, Miller, Sithole, Daggett, & Altman, 2011).  Greater adaptation of ICT through various health informatics (HI) initiatives like mHealth, health information technology (HIT), electronic healthcare (e-Health) services, and telemedicine have improved patient outcomes in numerous nations (Ahmed & Damrah, 2012).  The KSA is one country that really needs to adopt IT in its public sector for greater efficiency.

The rapid economic growth being experienced in the country has largely been to other parts of the world. As a growing economy, the country needs to not only develop its infrastructure, but also improve its service delivery to the people (Benington, 2000).  Information technology is an aspect of development that is sweeping across many developing countries today, and Saudi Arabia has definitely not been left behind (Al-zharani, 2009). The implementation of IT plans has greatly helped the country improve the way its citizens get access to public services (Al-zharani, 2009).

Transportable technologies are becoming more entrenched, omnipresent and networked, with increased possibilities for prosperous societal communications, background consciousness and internet connection.  Such expertise can have an immense influence on learning.  Educating will reposition extra and additional outside of the classroom and into the beginner’s surroundings, each genuine and practical, thus becoming more positioned, individual, collaborative and lifetime.

The challenge will be to recognize how to utilize mobile technologies to convert knowledge into a flawless section of everyday life to the direct where it is not documented as educating at all.  The information delivered is a preferred basis on the individual client requirements.  The consumer can, inquire explicit subject knowledge bases through a satisfied professional, to increase the information they demand.  This characteristic contributes a response to the dilemma of connecting data that is legitimate, dependable, detailed and personal.

Previous Studies

The purpose of this literature review is to provide an analysis of the contextual paradigms relative to the provisioning of healthcare educational services through governmental channels.  This section will present an in-depth analysis regarding the historic integration of the healthcare system into the socio-cultural-economic paradigms in the KSA.  Through this literature review, a conceptual framework will be created to evaluate current programs implemented that provide healthcare education services to improve treatment options for patients.

Healthcare Standards in the KSA

The dynamics of healthcare coverage differs vastly from nation to nation, which produces a wide array of statistics regarding how much of each populace has coverage and the portion of the populace that is not insured or is underinsured (Sloninsky & Mechael, 2008).  Furthermore, many nations have enacted drastic changes to their existing policies with the intention of bridging some of the existing gaps between the availability of healthcare services to low income socioeconomic strata and the quality of these services when compared to comparable measures for those that are economically privileged (Chaudhry, et al., 2006).

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight objectives identified by the United Nations and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the specialized agency entrusted with focusing on helping underdeveloped or developing nations work towards achievement of these goals by the end of 2015 (UNDP, 2014).  These eight MDGs are to:

  • “Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), malaria, and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development”(UNDP, 2014)

Even with international agreements to provide effective, efficient healthcare that is maintainable by adapting MDGs in 2000, access to comprehensive health coverage is still unacceptably low in many countries, with some countries achieving less than 50% of the margin necessary to obtain the goals set in the MDG for 2015 (Thomson & Mossialos, 2010).

Collaborative initiatives involving formal organizational alliances, agencies, and groups have planned strategies to decrease the risk of chronic diseases and improve overall health (Atkinson & Gold, 2002).  While these  gross health initiatives (GHIs) have resulted in large increases in funding for specific diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, due to inadequate infrastructures, GHIs have also added a strain on some countries’ health planning and management systems (Baum, Kendall, Muenchberger, Gudes, & Yigitcanlar, 2010).

These notable areas of vulnerability regarding health services illustrate that there may be a correlating underlying cause for the divergences.  Unequal access or unavailability of necessary healthcare services is the most prominent and probable reason for the imbalances in health outcomes for various ethnic and socioeconomic groups, but divergent cultural norms is also considered as a factor that may contribute to the disparities in health outcomes for various groups on a global scale (Griswold, 2008).  Culturally based or derived perceptions regarding the foundational or spiritual causes for illness and disease strongly affect specific attitudes towards health care (Griswold, 2008).

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is the primary organization responsible for managing the healthcare network within the KSA and currently operates 62% of the hospitals in addition to 53% of the clinics and healthcare centers (MOH, 2013).  The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined the parameters of technological inclusion in the provisioning of health services, coining the term ‘E-health’ (electronic health) to describe the amalgamated usage of ICT or IT and electronic communications in the health sector (WHO, 2009).

Nations that are able to progress towards achieving their established MDGs have the ability to increase access to healthcare, which will improve global health by equipping the healthcare system with the requisite pharmaceutical products so they can eradicate curable diseases and increase efforts towards eliminating incurable ailments (UNDP, 2014).  Even though developed nations such as the U.S. and the UK have multiple public healthcare models, coverage remains incomplete for those that are insured and millions of others have no coverage at all (Foubister, Thomson, Mossialos, & McGuire, 2006).

Furthermore, issues related to abuse of services have developed, although procedures can be undertaken to preclude such situations from recurring and becoming cost liabilities without denying services to individuals with legitimate needs (Smith, et al., 2013).  Universal all-inclusive coverage for all humanity is a goal the WHO is working to achieve assistance from coalitions such as the G8 and agreements like the MDGs (UNDP, 2014).  Increasing access to healthcare will increase global health as curable diseases are eradicated to leave room for increased funding of diseases we have yet to cure.

Socio-economic-cultural Paradigms of Health Education in the KSA

Religion and culture are also influential in regards to whether people seek health care at all and these elements additionally influence the caregivers’ level of culturally sensitivity, which impacts the dynamics of the interaction, especially how individuals react to their health care providers (Flowers, 2004). The impressions that guide peoples’ lives also dictate how and if medical professionals are able to provide assistance to the ill, which is why health care providers must be able to knowledgably communicate and understand health behaviors that are culturally predisposed (Flowers, 2004).

Global corporations such as the WHO have established international benchmarks intended to guide nations towards achieving specific goals that facilitate the inclusion of universal all-inclusive healthcare coverage for everyone (WHO, 2014).  The problem of inadequate comprehensive healthcare coverage is not restricted to developing nations, remaining a major concern for fully industrialized countries as well (Cutler & Lleras-Muny, 2007).

Since the financial crisis of 2009, the likelihood of vulnerable groups becoming unemployed has increased as much as two-fold (Benington, 2000).  Nontraditional employment patterns driven by the unstable labor markets places these already susceptible populaces at greater risk for becoming unemployed, particularly during periods of economic strife, and it is during such times that people either develop serious health issues or aggravate preexisting conditions due to stress, improper diet, and many other social issues (Baum, Kendall, Muenchberger, Gudes, & Yigitcanlar, 2010).

This presents an additional contextual paradigm to the inferences being made regarding reasons for the healthcare disparities that exist in all nations around the globe.  In each country, governmental control permits the development of enormous social, cultural, and economic disparities to emerge in the standards and quality of medical care provided to individuals from state to state and even between cities within the same state (Ahmed & Damrah, 2012).

This leads many to believe racism and classism are largely determining the outcomes for those seeking healthcare, especially for those that cannot afford to pay and rely on various types of funding to cover the expense of their medical services  (Asiri, 2014).  The cultural paradigms associated with healthcare is a factor in Saudi Arabia because this variable is especially influential in societies that still maintain strong gender biases and has a deciding influence regarding the use of health education services  (Telmesani, Zaini, & Ghazi, 2011).

The disparity in the healthcare services afforded to those of lower economical statuses is apparent in infant mortality rates that are much higher in the KSA than in other industrialized nations (Foubister, Thomson, Mossialos, & McGuire, 2006).  This disparity extends further in that those in remote areas of the KSA endure extremely limited access to modern healthcare services than those that live in the larger cities such as Riyadh or Mecca (Asiri, 2014).

Benefits of Mobile Technology in Health Education

Transportable technologies are becoming more entrenched, omnipresent, and networked, with increased possibilities for prosperous societal communications, background consciousness and internet connection (Donner, 2004).  Such expertise can have an immense influence on learning.  The challenge will be to recognize how to utilize mobile technologies to convert knowledge into a flawless section of everyday life to the direct where it is not documented as educating at all (Shahriyar, Bari, Kundu, Ahamed, & Akbar, 2009).

The International Centre for Digital Content at Liverpool John Moores University, UK, designed a PDA application for personalized education of breast cancer patients (Naismith, Lonsdale, Vavoula, & Sharples, 2003).  The development started in 2002 and implicated the deliverance of transcript, descriptions and audio-visual material to the customers’ PDAs via the network and the institution’s intranet for the interval of their curriculum of treatment (Naismith, Lonsdale, Vavoula, & Sharples, 2003).

The information delivered is on a preferred basis based on the individual client requirements.  The consumer can inquire explicit subject knowledge bases through a satisfied professional to increase the information they demand.  This characteristic contributes a response to the dilemma of connecting data that is legitimate, dependable, detailed and personal.

The customer can also create individual remarks connected to a diary application (Naismith, Lonsdale, Vavoula, & Sharples, 2003).  This distributes them with important points for conversation at assemblies, admitting the patient to interpret content and except appropriate reminders from the diary (Naismith, Lonsdale, Vavoula, & Sharples, 2003).

Frequently, superior education means that individuals are less likely to self-report a previous analysis of a severe or constant illness, lesser expected to expire from the mainly ordinary critical and continual sicknesses, and are less capable to announce apprehension or despondency (Cutler & Lleras-Muny, 2007).  The importance of the association amongst education and health differs across circumstance, but it is ordinarily enormous (Cutler & Lleras-Muny, 2007).  Additionally, schooling declines the chance of heart disease by 2.2% on a base of 31% and the hazard of diabetes by 1.3% relative to a base of 7% (Cutler & Lleras-Muny, 2007).

An additional four more years of schooling lowers the probability of diminished health by 6% with a mean of 12%, and decreases lost days of work to illness by 2.3 days each year, in comparison to 5.2 days mean (Cutler & Lleras-Muny, 2007).  In addition, individuals with a supplementary four years of education are less probable to smoke, to drink alcohol profusely, to be obese or morbidly obese, or to utilize unlawful drugs (Cutler & Lleras-Muny, 2007).  These statistical indications reinforce the importance of educating individuals about health and the use of IT would serve to significantly supplement such learning in Saudi Arabia, being especially useful in remote, rural areas that are difficult to traverse or access due to impassable roadways and other restrictive boundaries (Al-zharani, 2009).

The modern culture of technological advancement enables the inclusion of geographical informational systems (GIS) and other sophisticated devices to study epidemiological inquiries, public health issues, map diseases, strategize availability of health service, conduct environmental analyses, and perform various other health-related examinations (Baum, Kendall, Muenchberger, Gudes, & Yigitcanlar, 2010).  This online system allows the user to access imbedded area maps of potential sites for community health coalition planning (Baum, Kendall, Muenchberger, Gudes, & Yigitcanlar, 2010).

A global commitment to improving health outcomes, especially in at-risk populations makes the proficiency of GIS a valuable tool in collecting important data on the actual effectiveness of holistic practices within actual populaces (Stange, Amhof, & Moebus, 2008).  Declines in budgets, both governmental and private, have made it necessary to trim costs without decreasing the quality of care received by customers (Haynes, Banks, Balloch, & Hill, 2006).  In addition, increasing pressures to meet the gains needed to adhere to the goals established in 2000, especially in poorer nations, is causing an outcry for additional funding from donor countries to meet these goals (WHO, 2009).

Large healthcare systems used throughout the world are renowned for their inflexibility and focus on administrative needs often at the expensive of clinically relevant information (Vo, Brooks, Farr, & Raimer, 2011).  These systems have been built mostly using pre-web technology, making it difficult to share information beyond the organization’s network without significant new development work (Atkinson & Gold, 2002).

Health professionals, however, are not just delivering a service, but operate in a knowledge economy where knowing the latest evidence is critical to patient care, efficient use of resources, and contributing to the evidence generation process, which is demanded by professional colleges, for career advancement, and by clients (Atkinson & Gold, 2002).  Additionally, ICT solutions have not met this need, resulting in governments spending more and more on healthcare with little evidence that the best treatments and patient outcomes are being delivered (Herman, Craig, & Caspi, 2005).

Remarkable progress has been made toward enhancing access to the benefits of technology, achieving the MDGs, and particularly ICT (Labrique, Vasudevan, Kochi, Fabricant, & Mehl, 2013).  Mobile telephone penetration in developing countries has risen from virtually zero in 1990 to 58% in 2009, and the proportion of the population living within range of mobile networks has increased from 29% to 69% between 1999 and 2009 (Naismith, Lonsdale, Vavoula, & Sharples, 2003).

Benefits of Mobile Devices to Health Education

The endeavor of telemedicine is to enhance the superiority of health care and decrease its expenses by an earlier consultation of medical information between physicians and clients (Harrison & Lee, 2006).  A most important improvement of telemedicine, and a considerable modernization in the means medical care is transported, is that the surgeon and patient requirement not be in the same location or even in the same equivalent environment (Kun, 2001).

Telemedicine is observed as a potentially commanding income of improving the quality of fitness evaluation and guarantees to propose a price-saving substitute to several of the existing documents of health care deliverance (Kaplan, 2006).  Substantial examination on telemedicine has been conducted in the UK, USA and other countries, mainly utilizing landlines such as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) (Istepanian, Woodward, & Richards, 2001).

Currently there has been some attention on the probable exploit of minor portable components for conveying biomedical information via telecommunications cellular networks for urgent situation or household car (Thompson & Brailer, 2004) e.  Such devices are unsettled for critical contemplation, specifically in observed submissions of the recent progression of third generation (3G) transportable programs and the propagation of importance and appliances in mobile data consultation systems (Istepanian, Woodward, & Richards, 2001).

The average price of mobile calls has fallen consistently since the introduction of networks and the establishment of competitive markets. Access to the internet has been slower to rise but by 2009, 18% of the population of developing countries was internet users, an increase of 131% in only four years (Varshney, 2007).  The increase in technological dissemination in Saudi Arabia is hoped to produce more access and the availability of healthcare, which has been problematic.

Specialists regard health information technology importance to enhancing competency and quality of fitness concerns (Chaudhry, et al., 2006).  Informing therapeutic practice is fundamental to increasing care and creating physical condition problems delivery supplementary efficient (Chaudhry, et al., 2006).  This objective concentrates massively on attempts to bring EHRs directly into clinical practice (Chaudhry, et al., 2006).

This will decline medical mistakes and duplicative activity, and permits physicians to center their efforts more directly on improved patient care.  Inaccessible client supervision assembles disease-specific elements from biomedical strategies utilized by consumers in their residence or other surroundings external within the treatment department (Blount, et al., 2007).

Isolated examining devices particularly gather patient comprehensions and then transmit them to a distant attendant for confined and later inspection by healthcare specialists (Blount, et al., 2007).  Once obtainable on the server, the interpretations can be utilized in numerous customs by home fitness divisions, by practitioners, by physicians, and by casual care contributors (Blount, et al., 2007).

Inaccessible observation strategies are being developed by organizations, and research on remote supervision technologies is being executed by examiners (Blount, et al., 2007).  Personal care connection (PCC) is a standards-based, open proposal for isolating explanations (Blount, et al., 2007).  The objective is to generate principles and open application programming interfaces (APIs) in all importance interfaces in the curriculum. In the nonexistence of average procedures, we generate software and systems architecture to establish plug-in interfaces (Blount, et al., 2007).  Medical antenna machine wholesalers can add their mechanisms to the platform, and the structure software can be augmented to integrate the devices.

Application retailers can implement their submissions so that they are self-sufficient of the method technologies.  The conclusion is a functioning environment of appliance merchants and independent software salespersons that directs to innovative solutions.  This leads to less improvement time, less development disbursement, and quicker time to market.

Research Goals

Some developing nations have a preponderance of areas that are impoverished with little to no telecommunication networks due to lack of a stable economic structure and no established political regimes.  In many of these areas, healthcare is not available at all, even for emergency situations, without traveling vast distances to the nearest medical facility, which significantly increases the likelihood of even small injuries becoming fatal.  In examining the subject of using mobile phones to disseminate health education in the KSA, the goals of this research will be to establish a collective framework that will enable the determination of specific factors that contribute to both the positive and negative attributes of the healthcare systems currently existing in Saudi Arabia.  To achieve this goal, this research will perform a critical comparative analysis on the provisioning of each health service currently offered and how patients access vital information using a matrix of the most important elements that comprise a comprehensive healthcare plan and measuring the systems according to these conditions.

Hypotheses and Research Questions

To comprehensively satisfy the aim and objectives of this thesis, the following research questions and hypotheses will be adopted as the primary focus of this study.

Research Questions

The prevalence of high instances of illiteracy, unemployment, and poverty in both developed and underdeveloped nations makes it impossible for the majority to purchase or gain access to expensive mobile technologies such as tablets, smartphones, PDAs, and IPhones.  Examining the aspect of healthcare in Saudi Arabia facilitates the following research questions that will guide the course of this thesis:

  • How can the use of mobile phones improve the dissemination of health education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?
  • How does the availability of comprehensive health education information benefit the larger socio-cultural-economic construct?
  • What are the socio-cultural-economic consequences of lack of access to health education information?

These research questions will assist in the development of a conceptual framework that will guide the progression of this thesis towards achieving the objectives and aims while identifying the attributes that would be considered as essential to the provisioning of health education using mobile telephony services.

Research Hypotheses

This research is constructed with the general hypothesis that:

  • The socio-economic-cultural paradigms present in the Islamic nation of the KSA will preclude the successful integration of mobile telephony as a means of disseminating educational health information.
  • The structure of the healthcare systems in the KSA is insufficient in providing the necessary educational services that people need and does not include vital provisions to service remote rural areas, so improvement through integration of mobile phones will be extremely beneficial.
  • Numerous cultural and societal barriers currently exist, particularly in Islamic nations, which preclude vulnerable populations from obtaining medical attention, sometimes even in life-threatening situations. It is these same cultural norms that disallow health care and medical professionals from freely and effectively communicating with patients through mobile technologies or enhancing their awareness regarding the importance of medical testing, family planning, and routine check-ups.

In assessing the truth of these hypotheses, this research will additionally meet several objectives, including:

  • examining the regulations mandating the healthcare systems in Saudi Arabia;
  • assessment of the provisions included to service the average user;
  • analysis of the expectations the healthcare service models are based on;
  • scrutiny of the progress made towards achieving MDGs; and
  • establishment of a correlation matrix detailing the similarities and differences between the healthcare systems in Saudi Arabia

In the primary health care scenery, information and communications knowledge has previously been accessible as an instrument for management rather than as an implementation tool for assisting, improving and creating additional efficient the specialized examinations of medication and the discovery of fitness concerns to the consumer and the environment (Lovell & Celler, 1999).  As a consequence, several treatment practitioners hastily illustrate cynicism and need that has rigorously reserved the presentation of information and connections knowledge in ordinary research over the previous decade (Lovell & Celler, 1999).

Computer-based patient schooling is becoming of increasing significance to the primary practitioner (Lovell & Celler, 1999).  From a duty-of-care deliberation, it is functional to have documented a synopsis of the instructive resources dispersed to the consumer (Lovell & Celler, 1999).  Moreover, prearranged patient edification has been exposed to advance customer contentment or gratification without addition to the discussion period.

Research Methodology and Methods

This thesis will examine the topic proposed using quantitative and qualitative analytical methods that will scrutinize the construct of the healthcare system within the larger socio-cultural-economic collective that weaves the fabric of our larger society, with attention to detail on matters regarding the essential aspects relative to health information dispensation. While quantitative research is a methodical and experiential approach that tries to simplify resuming outcomes of other contexts, qualitative methods use a more descriptive approach that attempts to gain a deeper understanding of particular cases and contexts (Newman, 2011).

The examination procedures for this paper will review qualitative and quantitative research.  Evaluative inspection is extraordinarily efficacious in deducing the impression of a specific social intervention or system expected to resolve a social dilemma (Babbie, 2007).  Quantitative methods are exploited within research backgrounds to convert information to a mathematical diagram that is simple to analyze (Babbie, 2007).

This research will connect the strengths in each of these examination progressions to organize a comprehensive investigation regarding the efficiency of using mobile technology in health forums to achieve MDGs based on the intensity of such achievement in other improved countries, developing nations, and obtainable programs already implemented.  Evaluation of available empirical research will allow determinants that will cause a reaction to the principle research inquiry and confirm or invalidate the speculations through supporting specifics established within the existing literature.

Archival Research

Archival research involves drawing conclusions by analyzing existing sources of data, including both public and private records.  The key thing you should note right away is that most of this process involves making decisions ahead of time so that the process of data collection is smooth, simple, and systematic (Newman, 2011).   Archival research provides a test of the hypothesis by examining existing data and, thereby, avoids most of the ethical and practical problems of other research designs. Related to this point, archival research also neatly sidesteps issues of participant reactivity, or the tendency of people to behave differently when they are aware of being observed.

A literature examination for relevant academic journalism will distribute a referential establishment that will be generated to show the applicable particulars concerning the operation of mobile technology for health education and this information will be quantitatively analyzed by regulating the details with numeric representations that will authorize statistical investigation.  This examination will consistently connect the research inquiries and viewpoints that describe resolution in the exploration.  Internet-based and library documents searches for intervention studies in developing countries was commenced operating the following conditions: “ healthcare,” in various comparisons with “healthcare”, “physical condition”, Searches included MEDLINE, CINAHL, WorldCat, Google Scholar, Google books, ProQuest, Project Muse, IEEE, and JStor.

Any time you conduct research in a laboratory, participants are aware that they are in a research study and may not behave in a completely natural manner. In contrast, archival data involves making use of records of people’s natural behaviors (Newman).  One final advantage of archival research is that once you manage to gain access to the relevant archives, it requires relatively few resources. The typical laboratory experiment involves one participant at a time, sometimes requiring the dedicated attention of more than one research assistant over a period of an hour or more (Newman).

Once the data is assembled from the archives, it is a relatively simple matter to conduct statistical analyses.  However, archival research is still relatively low on our continuum of control. As a researcher, you have to accept the archival data in whatever form they exist, with no control over the way they were collected.  In addition, because archival data often represent natural behavior, it can be difficult to categorize and organize responses in a meaningful and quantitative way. The upshot is that archival research often requires some creativity on the researcher’s part, such as analysis (Newman).

Descriptive Designs

The primary goal of descriptive research is to describe thoughts, feelings, or behaviors associated with the actions under scrutiny (Newman, 2011).  Descriptive research provides a static picture of what people are thinking, feeling, and doing at a given moment in time in an attempt to get a broad understanding of a phenomenon without trying to delve into its causes (Yoshikawa, Weisner, Kalil, & Way, 2008).

Descriptive designs are qualitative when they attempt to provide a rich description of a particular set of circumstances (Yoshikawa, Weisner, Kalil, & Way, 2008). Qualitative method has been chosen since it aims to evaluate and analyze the experience and perception of individuals studied combined with the acquired knowledge throughout the research. Furthermore, research methods that can be employed by researchers in accounting can be provided by case studies. This research falls under descriptive case studies since the objective is to illustrate accounting systems, and explore operations and techniques in practice. These case studies are valuable in a sense that they present information regarding the “nature” of the present accounting techniques and practices.  Two different methods will be adopted for data collection, interviews and observations, the end results will get combined in order to elaborate on findings in a less biased fashion; this is called inter-method-mixing or data-triangulation.

Data Collection

The process of analyzing archives involves developing a coding strategy for extracting the most relevant information (Golafshani, 2003). In order to do this, they had to make several critical decisions about what to analyze and how to quantify it. The process of systematically extracting and analyzing the contents of a collection of information is known as content analysis. In essence, content analysis involves developing a plan to code and record specific behaviors and events in a consistent way (Golafshani, 2003).

We can break this down into a three-step process with steps as follows: Identify Relevant Archives, Sample from the Archives, and Code and Analyze the Archives (Yoshikawa, Weisner, Kalil, & Way, 2008). The third and most involved step is to develop a system for coding and analyzing the archival data (Yoshikawa, Weisner, Kalil, & Way, 2008).

Your goal as a researcher is to find a systematic way to record the variables most relevant to your hypothesis. As with any research design, the key is to start with clear operational definitions that capture the variables of interest. This involves both deciding the most appropriate variables and the best way to measure these variables (Newman, 2011).

This research, pertaining to the specific objectives will encompass analysis of the research design, research sample group, statistical analysis, and report of findings regarding the healthcare systems.  Within these contexts, a comprehensive theoretical review is given, including an overall analysis of the factors in general and as it pertains to the comprehensive healthcare concept.  The sources that will be consulted include:

  • Scholastic peer-reviewed journals,
  • Magazine articles,
  • Text books, and
  • Internet websites

This empirical study will utilize these resources to compile relevant information that will assist in the formation of analytical findings regarding the conceptual analysis of healthcare and its impact on the relative economy as well as the overall society.

Expected Thesis Organization

  • Title Page
  • Abstract-Comprehensive summary of thesis
  • Definition of Terms-defines acronyms used in the thesis
  • Introduction- Introduce the topic; present the aims, research question, and hypotheses.
  • Literature Review- Provide literature review that provides a conceptual framework and thoroughly examines current research regarding the healthcare system in Saudi Araba, the use of e-Health services, and how the SLA influences service provision
  • Research Methodology- Explain the methodology used to conduct the research and explain why the method was chosen
  • Results- Present the outcome of this research through the use of charts, graphs, and narrative account and
  • Discussion- Provide an analysis of the findings
  • Conclusion- Present the conclusions gathered from the research and indicate areas for further research
  • References

Timetable for Implementation of the Plan

Once the official proposal is approved, the entire research will be conducted within the span of ten to twelve months, as outlined in Table 2.  The first 2 phases of the work will be spent reviewing and collecting the articles for the archival research and using online databases to gather educational reviews, inter-library services, and peer-reviewed research to expand the literature review during the third phase.

Phase # Description Period
Prepare & Submit Proposal May, 2015
#2.          Collection of Archival Research Studies June, 2015
Expansion of Literature Review August, 2015
Compilation of Research Data September, 2015
Analysis of Data November, 2015
Completion of Research March, 2016

Table 2: Research Timetable

The search and analysis will be used to sort out the useful results of the research.  This may take approximately two additional months.  Known and new results ascertained through the study will provide the utilities of work and this process may extend phases 1-3 for a total of approximately four months.  During the final stages, empirical data will be presented to give a realistic perspective, which may require 2 months each for phases four and five.  Transcribing the material and composing the thesis may take 2 months for the final composition of the thesis during phase six.  Additional time is integrated into the plan to serve as a cushion to ensure that all segments of the study remain within their allotted timeframes.


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