Assessing Patient Safety Culture: Application of the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire in a Kenyan Setting

Background:
Patient safety has recently been declared a global health priority. Achievement and sustenance of a culture of patient safety require a regular and timely assessment of the organization. The Safety Attitudes Questionnaire is a patient safety culture assessment tool whose usefulness has been established in countries, but a few studies have been published from Africa, more so, in Kenyan settings.

Objective:
To evaluate the reliability of the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire in assessing the patient safety culture in a Kenyan setting and to assess healthcare workers’ perceptions of patient safety culture.

Methods:
A descriptive quantitative approach was utilized whereby the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire was administered to 241 healthcare workers in two public hospitals. The Cronbach’s α was calculated to determine the internal consistency of the SAQ. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze and describe the data on patient safety culture.

Results:
The total scale Cronbach’s alpha of the SAQ was 0.86, while that of the six dimensions was 0.65 to 0.90. The overall mean score of the total SAQ was 65.8 (9.9). Participants had the highest positive perception for Job Satisfaction with a mean score of 78.3 (16.1) while the lowest was evaluated for Stress Recognition with a mean score of 53.8 (28.6).

Conclusion:
The SAQ demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency and is suitable for use in the Kenyan context. The perception of patient safety culture in the Kenyan hospital is below international recommendations. There is a need for implementation of strategies for the improvement of the organization culture in Kenyan hospitals.