The Perceptions of the Personal and Professional Factors Influencing Social Workers in Saudi Hospitals: A Qualitative Analysis

Nadir Yalli, Abdulaziz Albrithen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The perceptions of 10 social workers regarding the personal and professional characteristics influencing their practice at Saudi hospitals were examined using semi-structured interviews. A qualitative analysis employing a thematic approach informed by grounded theory was undertaken and produced three broad interrelated themes: "skills upgrading," "departmental support," and "personal experience in the workplace," which subsequently informed the development of the overarching theme of "personal and professional factors." The discussion illustrates social work practitioners are inhibited from effectively performing their roles. These include: (a) Deficiencies related to job training and professional skills updating where there is a lack of efficient and accessible inservice training programs, especially in relation to practical issues. Further, these perceptions relate to a lack of long-term educational opportunities that impact on individual practitioner's currency of skills, techniques and pedagogy enabling/disenabling him/her to excel at his/her job, (b) Obvious bureaucracy within the controlling hierarchy and difficulty with the dissemination of information between the social workers were perceived to detrimentally impact on a practitioner's ability to attend to one's work demands, and (c) Personal day to day work experiences, including counterproductive emotional feelings (high stress), increased dissatisfaction with the job, and ineffective communication within the workplace were seen as limiting the social workers' professional potential. This article will focus on how these themes were addressed in terms of qualitative interview data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-862
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Saudi Arabia
  • hospital social work
  • personal perception
  • professional factors
  • qualitative analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'The Perceptions of the Personal and Professional Factors Influencing Social Workers in Saudi Hospitals: A Qualitative Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this