Date of Award

Fall 11-24-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences


Health and Medical Sciences


Deborah DeLuca, J.D.

Committee Member

Genevieve Pinto Zipp, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Michelle D’Abundo, Ph.D.


quality of life, medical students, Saudi Arabia, medical school


Background: Medical students are widely recognized as a high-risk population for poor quality of life (QOL). Various studies have highlighted that medical students have a lower QOL than, compared to other students from different specialties tend to exhibit; specifically, the QOL of Saudi medical students is of growing concern, and it is imperative that Saudi medical schools recognize and address the QOL of these students.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the QOL of Saudi medical students during the pre-clinical and clinical phases of their studies. In addition, this study explored the QOL perceptions according to factors such as medical school year (from year 1 to year 6) and gender (male/female) among Saudi medical students.

Methods: This study design utilized a descriptive, exploratory, cross-sectional and correlational research design. A sample of 157 participants responded to the online survey and 154 of these respondents fully completed the WHOQOL-BREF instrument including the demographic questions.

Results: For the reliability of the WHOQOL-BREF domains, the physical health domain (0.645) and the environmental domain (0.684) fall slightly short of the acceptable degree of internal consistency. The QOL domains scores were not statistically different for respondents in the medical school phase (physical health domain p=.919, psychological domain p=.318, social relationship domain p=.472, environmental domain p=.661). In regard to medical school year, there was no significant relationship in each of the four domains (physical health domain p=.91, psychological domain p=.387, social relationships domain p=.393, environmental domain p=.388). The QOL domains scores were, in contrast statistically different according to gender: female students demonstrated lower scores in the physical health domain (p=.009), psychological domain (p=.003), and social relationship domain (p=.019), but results for the environmental domain (p=.30) were not significant.

Conclusion: The findings of the study suggests that Saudi medical schools must address the QOL among female Saudi medical students; issues such as women’s health care must be acknowledged within the Saudi medical school system. An additional conclusion of this study is that the WHOQOL-BREF instrument does not appear to be a good fit for assessing QOL among Saudi medical students. Thus, this study identifies the need to address situational validation when administering the WHOQOL-BREF among Saudi medical students. As a result, further investigation into the concept of and factors that influence QOL among Saudi medical students is recommended.