Experiential workshops: a successful pedagogical modality to raise life quality


Experiential workshops: a successful pedagogical modality to raise life quality


Talleres vivenciales: una modalidad pedagógica acertada para elevar la calidad de vida



María Caridad de Rojas Gómez1, Adriana Lucía Pérez Cárdenas2, María Esther Hernández Pérez3

1 Villa Clara University or Medical Sciences. Cuba. E- mail: mariacaridadrg@infomed.sld.cu
2 Villa Clara University or Medical Sciences. Cuba. E- mail: adrianalpc@infomed.sld.cu
3 Villa Clara University or Medical Sciences. Cuba. E- mail: mariaestherhp@infomed.sld.cu




The study of life quality is essential for the health professional, not only to carry out promotion and prevention actions, but also to understand patients' behavior regarding treatment. The present research paper intends to expose the training and/or updating that, on the mentioned topic, was carried out in «Julio Trigo López» Health Technology Faculty of Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Experiential workshops were used as a new technique, through which cognitive-affective relationships were established that allowed a group dynamics where individual opinions found consensus based on a common, social discourse where the desires, needs, opinions and knowledge of each individual to influence the improvement of their life quality.

MeSH: quality of life, programs, population dynamics.


El estudio de la calidad de vida es esencial para el profesional de la salud, no solo para realizar acciones de promoción y prevención, sino para comprender el comportamiento de los pacientes respecto al tratamiento. La presente comunicación pretende exponer la capacitación y/o actualización que, sobre el mencionado tema, se realizó en Facultad de Tecnología de la Salud «Julio Trigo López» de la Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara. Se utilizaron, como técnica novedosa, los talleres vivenciales, a través de los cuales se establecieron relaciones cognitivo-afectivas que permitieron una dinámica grupal donde las opiniones individuales encontraron consenso a partir de un discurso común, social, donde se revelaron los deseos, necesidades, opiniones y conocimientos de cada individuo para influir en el mejoramiento de su calidad de vida.

DeCS: calidad de vida, programas, dinámica de población.



The university of medical sciences is called to develop a formative, humanistic, scientific and productive model. Therefore, it has the responsibility to train professionals in integrity, reflexive, creative, ethical, with high scientific-technical preparation, and in values and able to contribute to the development and transformative progress of their social environment, according to Dr. José Ramón Balaguer in letter addressed to professors of the medical sciences, signed in Havana on September 1, 2009. How to assume this responsibility?

In the training of the health professional it is very useful to study life quality from new positions that take into account the lifestyle of the people, not only to carry out health promotion and prevention actions or to diagnose diseases, but also to understand patients' behavior regarding treatment, and to make modifications in them and their families in aspects such as: healthier dietary habits, physical exercises and the elimination of harmful habits such as smoking, alcoholism and drug addiction; In addition to other stressors that directly or indirectly destabilize the organic balance.1,2

Based on the diagnosis of felt needs of the workers who participated in the upgrading strategy on life quality proposed by the researchers, in «Julio Trigo López» Health Technology Faculty arises the need to provide training on the above mentioned topic. The authors are attached to the criterion that in developing training actions, people assume new arguments to reflect, evaluate and rethink their way of life and lifestyle, which allows for better plans and future projects; aspects described by Selman Housein Abdo.3

As a training model, experiential workshops were developed based on a team work with the use of group dynamics techniques. Ander-Egg, cited by Calzado Lahera4, defines the workshop as «... a pedagogical way of learning by doing (...) learning a thing by looking at it and doing it is something much more formative, cultivating, invigorating than simply learning it with verbal communication of ideas». This is why in the workshop, teaching, rather than what the teacher transmits to the students, is a learning that depends on the activity of the students, mobilized in the accomplishment of a concrete task. The teacher, in its transforming function, is the educator who has the guiding, helping to learn and enabling students to learn by doing.

It is frequent to call «workshop» to the postgraduate activities like any meeting where the group of attendees discusses a particular problematic. However, the workshops with their integrative function of theoretical and practical knowledge, take as a starting point the experiences obtained in practice, the collective reflection and transformation of the problems presented in it. The authors selected among the types of workshops, the discussion group with experiential workshops, because this modality is a form of group interview technique conceptualized as «... gathering a small group of people to obtain information in a pleasant environment with a format of communication that stimulates debate and confrontation.»4 A group dynamics was established where individual opinions found consensus through a common discourse, and revealed the desires and needs of each individual contrasting with those of others. It is recommended, in this case, a total of 4 to 15 people as participants.

In correspondence with these criteria and the objectives of the research, two discussion groups were formed, composed of teachers and non-teachers. The researchers acted as participants and facilitators. In the workshops there was freedom of expression, based on the participants' previous experiences and knowledge. In addition, in all cases, it was tried that its members revealed, through the exchange, their conceptions about the subjects under study and how these were revealed in their real context.

With these forms of communicative exchange the objectives of the workshop could be achieved:

· Facilitate a favorable and communicative climate, where experiences are shared.

· Encourage the generation of information and its compilation.

Training and/or updating workshops were carried out using questions to encourage participation in the various selected topics:

I. Life quality.

· What is life quality? What categories it´s related to? Does man think how he lives or lives as he thinks?

II. Quality of life-subjective well-being. Personality and health:

· What is subjective well-being? Are there personalities predisposed to health or illness? What factors may be protective or risky to get sick? What advices are practical for overcoming stress?

III. Communication and quality of life.

· What is communication? How to achieve positive communication? How to be a good receiver and good emitter in it?

IV. The voice in our lives.

· What is the voice? What is vocal hygiene? What to do to maintain proper vocal hygiene? What laryngeal conditions can occur due to misuse and care of the voice? What behaviors lead to alterations of voice? Alternatives to avoid mistreatment of the voice.

V. Family and quality of life.

· Reflect on personal identity. Why are we one way and not another? Why do we orient ourselves in a certain sense? Much of this answer is in the family history of each person, what are the functions of the family? What influences does it have on life quality?

VI. Nutrition and health.

· How important is proper nutrition for health? How do we feed ourselves better? What is healthy nutrition? Do you think that the population complies with adequate food according to their state of health? Make references to diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, anemia and cancer.

VII. Prevention of oral conditions.

· What are the most common diseases of the teeth and gums? What are its causes? Measures to avoid them what are the risk factors for dental caries and periodontal diseases? Is diet control a factor in preventing them?

VIII. Physical activity and physical exercise.

· Is physical activity synonymous with physical exercise? How often should physical exercise be done? What are the relaxation exercises? What is the function of therapeutic exercises?

IX. The ways of drug addiction.

· What is drug? What effects can it have on the body? Do you smoke? Do you frequently drink alcoholic beverages? Are these addictions? What is dependency? Do you take tablets or anxiolytics to sleep and feel relaxed?

X. Medicinal plants and life quality.

· Argue about the use of medicinal plants in the prevention and cure of certain diseases. Is it okay to intake herbal remedies and herbal teas indiscriminately?

XI. Foot reflexology.

· What is foot reflexology? When can this treatment be indicated? Can it be applied by anyone? What are its benefits for the patient?

The development of workshops brought about attitudinal changes in the participants that led to improvements in their style and quality of life, which had repercussions on their work and/or academic efficiency, that´s why the authors consider having fulfilled the objectives of this training form.


Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



1. Quirantes A. Comer pero sin sal. La Habana: Editorial de la Mujer; 2011.

2. Alfonso CR. Aprender a ser saludables. La Habana: Editorial Liber; 2013.

3. Selman Housein Abdo E. Cómo vivir 120 años. La Habana: Editorial Científico Técnica; 2012.

4. Calzado Lahera D. El taller: una alternativa de forma de organización en la formación profesional del educador [tesis]. La Habana: Instituto Superior Pedagógico «Enrique José Varona»; 1998.



Submitted: June 3 2016.
Accepted: May 17 2016.



María Caridad de Rojas Gómez. Villa Clara University or Medical Sciences. Cuba. E- mail: mariacaridadrg@infomed.sld.cu

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