Embracing challenging complexity: exploring handwashing behavior from a combined socioecological and intersectional perspective in Sierra Leone

Lütke Lanfer H, Reifegerste D (2021)
BMC Public Health 21(1): 1857.

Zeitschriftenaufsatz | Veröffentlicht | Englisch
 
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Abstract / Bemerkung
BACKGROUND: Handwashing with soap is a cost-effective, efficient health behavior to prevent various diseases. Despite its immense health benefits, the lowest prevalence of handwashing is found in low-income countries. Here, its practice is not only determined by individual behavior, but also heavily shaped by deprivations in the social and structural ecology. Moreover, handwashing barriers are not equally experienced as overlapping social identities (e.g., age and gender) intersect and create inequities between members of different social groups. To embrace the complexities of handwashing beyond individual-level behavior and singular social identities, a combined socioecological and intersectional perspective is employed. This multi-level approach with regards to intersecting privileges and disadvantages serves as a basis to promote this highly important health behavior.; METHODS: This study used a qualitative, theory-based approach and combined data from two samples: experts in health promotion (n=22) and local citizens stratified by gender and rural/urban location (n=56). Data was collected in face-to-face interviews in Sierra Leone between November 2018 and January 2019 and analyzed using thematic analysis and typology of the qualitative data.; RESULTS: The conceptualization of multi-level determinants of handwashing within a socioecological model showed the high relevance of inhibiting social and structural factors for handwashing practice. By establishing seven distinguishing social identity dimensions, data demonstrates that individuals within the same social setting yet with distinct social identities experience strikingly differing degrees of power and privileges to enact handwashing. While a local leader is influential and may also change structural-level determinants, a young, rural wife experiences multiple social and structural constraints to perform handwashing with soap, even if she has high handwashing intentions.; CONCLUSION: This study provides a holistic analytical framework for the identification of determinants on multiple levels and accumulating intersections of socially produced inequalities for handwashing and is applicable to other health topics. As the exploration of handwashing was approached from a solution-focused instead of a problem-focused perspective, the analysis can guide multi-level intervention approaches (e.g., using low-cost, participatory activities at the community level to make use of the available social capital). © 2021. The Author(s).
Erscheinungsjahr
2021
Zeitschriftentitel
BMC Public Health
Band
21
Ausgabe
1
Art.-Nr.
1857
eISSN
1471-2458
Page URI
https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/record/2958343

Zitieren

Lütke Lanfer H, Reifegerste D. Embracing challenging complexity: exploring handwashing behavior from a combined socioecological and intersectional perspective in Sierra Leone. BMC Public Health . 2021;21(1): 1857.
Lütke Lanfer, H., & Reifegerste, D. (2021). Embracing challenging complexity: exploring handwashing behavior from a combined socioecological and intersectional perspective in Sierra Leone. BMC Public Health , 21(1), 1857. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11923-1
Lütke Lanfer, H., and Reifegerste, D. (2021). Embracing challenging complexity: exploring handwashing behavior from a combined socioecological and intersectional perspective in Sierra Leone. BMC Public Health 21:1857.
Lütke Lanfer, H., & Reifegerste, D., 2021. Embracing challenging complexity: exploring handwashing behavior from a combined socioecological and intersectional perspective in Sierra Leone. BMC Public Health , 21(1): 1857.
H. Lütke Lanfer and D. Reifegerste, “Embracing challenging complexity: exploring handwashing behavior from a combined socioecological and intersectional perspective in Sierra Leone”, BMC Public Health , vol. 21, 2021, : 1857.
Lütke Lanfer, H., Reifegerste, D.: Embracing challenging complexity: exploring handwashing behavior from a combined socioecological and intersectional perspective in Sierra Leone. BMC Public Health . 21, : 1857 (2021).
Lütke Lanfer, Hanna, and Reifegerste, Doreen. “Embracing challenging complexity: exploring handwashing behavior from a combined socioecological and intersectional perspective in Sierra Leone”. BMC Public Health 21.1 (2021): 1857.

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