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School bullying prevention and intervention strategies in the United Arab Emirates: a scoping review
  1. Alfan Al-Ketbi1,
  2. Marilia Silva Paulo2,
  3. Linda Östlundh3,
  4. Iffat Elbarazi1,
  5. Bayan Abu-Hamada1,
  6. Ismail Elkonaisi1,
  7. Rami H. Al-Rifai1,
  8. Sara Al Aleeli4,
  9. Michal Grivna1,5
  1. 1Institute of Public Health, United Arab Emirates University, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Al Ain, UAE
  2. 2NOVA National School of Public Health, Public Health Research Center, Comprehensive Research Center, CHRC, NOVA University Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
  3. 3Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
  4. 4College of Education, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, UAE
  5. 5Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Charles University, Second Faculty of Medicine, Praha, Czech Republic
  1. Correspondence to Professor Michal Grivna, Institute of Public Health, United Arab Emirates University, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Al Ain, UAE; m.grivna{at}


Introduction Schools in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) witnessed an increase of 7% in bullying prevalence since 2005. This review aimed to map antibullying interventions in the UAE.

Methods A systematic search was performed in five electronic databases (EMBASE, PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus and Eric) using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Review. Studies addressing antibullying interventions and grey literature in the UAE from 2010 to 2021 were included. Interventions were mapped using distribution across key sectors, public health practice levels, and organisation types.

Results Of the 2122 identified papers, only 2 were included. Both articles were published in 2019 and used qualitative methods. From the search of governmental and non-governmental websites, 22 multilevel interventions were included and presented on the three levels of public health practice across the different sectors and target stakeholders. Eight interventions were at the federal level, and six were by private stakeholders. The government funded 59% of all interventions. Four interventions addressed cyberbullying, and three used multisectoral collaboration.

Conclusions Although the UAE is building capacity for bullying prevention, we found limited knowledge of antibullying prevention efforts. Further studies are needed to assess current interventions, strategies and policies.

  • Child
  • Adolescent
  • School
  • Policy analysis
  • Violence

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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  • Contributors AA-K and MSP designed the study. LÖ designed the search strategy. AA-K, LÖ and MSP conducted the search. AA-K, MSP and MG selected the studies to be included and wrote a first draft of the paper. All authors participated in revising the draft to its current form and approved the final version. AA-K is the guarantor of the study.

  • Funding The study was funded by grants from the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University research (Ref No 31M422 and 12M088).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research. Refer to the Methods section for further details.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.