A Narrative Synthesis of Qualitative Studies Conducted to Assess Patient Safety Culture in Hospital Settings

Hamad Alqattan* (Corresponding Author), Zoe Morrison, Jennifer A. Cleland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


This review aimed to identify methodological aspects of qualitative studies conducted to assess patient safety culture (PSC) in hospital settings. Searches of Google Scholar (Google LLC, Menlo Park, California, USA), MEDLINE® (National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland, USA), EMBASE (Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands), PsycINFO (American Psychological Association, Washington, District of Columbia, USA) and Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA) databases were used to identify qualitative articles published between 2000 and 2017 that focused on PSC. A total of 22 studies were included in this review and analysis of methodological approaches showed that most researchers adopted purposive sampling, individual interviews, inductive content and thematic analysis. PSC was affected by factors related to staffing, communication, nonhuman resources, organisation and patient-related factors. Most studies lacked theoretical frameworks. However, many commonalities were found across studies. Therefore, it is recommended that future studies adopt a mixed methods approach to gain a better understanding of PSC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e91-e98
Number of pages8
JournalSultan Qaboos University Medical Journal
Issue number2
Early online date8 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019



  • Culture
  • Needs assessment
  • Patient safety
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this