Creating safe spaces to prevent unintentional childhood injuries among the Bedouins in southern Israel: A hybrid model comprising positive deviance, community-based participatory research, and entertainment-education
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionPLOS ONE. 2021, 16 (9), . 10.1371/journal.pone.0257696
Background Despite several intervention programs, the Bedouin population living in the Southern District of Israel has the highest mortality rate among children and adolescents from unintentional injuries. Our research questions asked: (1) How does increasing the involvement and participation of Bedouin community members influence the issue of unintentional injuries among children? (2) How does reframing of the technical issue of safety into security influence community involvement and cooperation? Objectives 1) To identify effective and efficacious positive deviance practices through communitybased participatory research with adults, children, and professionals in the Bedouin community. 2) To create wider and deeper connections and cohesion between and among diverse Bedouin communities by seeding and sparking opportunities for social networking and cross-learning. Methods The study used a qualitative multi-method approach to generate a hybrid intervention model for reducing unintentional childhood injuries among the Bedouins. To frame the issue of unintentional injuries from the lived perspective of the Bedouins, we employed the Positive Deviance (PD) and Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach. Drawing upon theatrical traditions, entertainment-education (EE), was employed as a way to narratively engage and persuade the Bedouins. Results Our research resulted in: (1) the emergence of several PD ideas and practices for preventing and avoiding children’s injuries; (2) the actual creation of a safe and secure playroom for children at a neighborhood mosque; and (3) the creation of cascading and cross-learning social networks between and among members of the Bedouin community spread across various locations. Conclusion This study helped in reframing the technical issue of accidents and safety into the notion of sacredness and security, enhanced the association between emotions and cognition by means of experiential and EE methods, and stimulated creative thinking and the emergence of new culturally and contextually relevant ideas and practices through the PD process. It demonstrated the synergistic power of using a hybrid model that combined the rigor and vigor of different health communication approaches to address a significant disparity in the burden of child accidents faced by the Bedouins. Our study generated solutions that emerged from, and directly benefitted, Bedouin children—those, who face overwhelming risk of injury and death from preventable accidents.