Project-based training as a tool to tackle occupational health challenges in developing countries Conference Paper

abstract

  • Introduction To know the prevalence of exposures and diseasesat workplaces is crucial for the development of interventionstrategies and healthcare planning. However, in many lowand middle-income countries (LMIC) research is no priority.One reason is a lack of experts able to carry out sound epidemiologicalresearch at workplaces. One way of preparing suchexperts is through project-based training. We therefore implementeda project as training method in our blended learningMaster in International Occupational Safety and Health(OSH).Methods Students start by identifying their research interestbased on existing worker’s health problems. They develop astudy protocol to assess working conditions and health at aself-selected workplace. After ethics approval, they carry outthe project during the 2nd term of the program. In term 3,they learn to analyse and interpret data and develop a teachingintervention. In the final term, students write the master thesis in form of a scientific paper. Throughout the process,they are accompanied by a tutor.Results Since its beginning in 2012, the number of participantsin the program is stable with 10–12 students/year. All of themare OSH experts with at least 2 years of experience in thefield coming from eight Latin American countries. Studentsevaluate the project-based learning approach as positive. Ofthe 43 graduating students, 9 research papers were publishedin journals. More than half of the graduates teach students atlocal universities and thereby act as multipliers. Few continueto carry out research mainly due to lack of priority in theirhome countries.Discussion The project-based learning approach contributes tooccupational health research in Latin America. The conceptmight be promising also for other LMIC. However, due tothe individual tutoring the program is cost intensive, publicationof the results challenging and work opportunities forresearchers limited

publication date

  • 2018/4/24

edition

  • 75

keywords

  • health
  • program
  • projectbased
  • research
  • students
  • term

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1351-0711

number of pages

  • 306

start page

  • A

end page

  • 305