Active research of medical science students, a strategy to deal with COVID-19

EDUMECENTRO 2023;15:e2574



Active research of medical science students, a strategy to deal with COVID-19

Pesquisa activa de los estudiantes de ciencias médicas, una estrategia de enfrentamiento a la COVID-19


Yovana Betancourt Roque1*
Nubia Blanco Barbeito1
Yordanka Olano Truffin1


1 University of Medical Sciences of Villa Clara. Faculty of Medical Sciences of Sagua la Grande. Villa Clara. Cuba.


* Corresponding author. Email:




Active research is a diagnostic action that tends to identify individual health status in population groups. Within the complex situation of COVID-19 in Cuba, Medical Sciences students played an important role in the prevention and timely diagnosis of the disease. In this article, the authors proposed to share the experiences of this research carried out by students of Sagua la Grande Faculty of Medical Sciences, which allowed early detection of the disease and the adoption of appropriate measures to contribute to the reduction of mortality from this condition.

MeSH:programs; COVID-19; students; population education; education, medical.


La pesquisa activa es una acción diagnóstica que tiende a identificar el estado de salud individual en grupos de población. En medio de la situación compleja de la COVID-19 en Cuba, los estudiantes de las Ciencias Médicas desempeñaron un papel importante en la prevención y diagnóstico oportuno de la enfermedad. En el presente artículo, los autores se propusieron compartir las experiencias de dicha pesquisa realizada por los estudiantes de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas de Sagua la Grande, la cual permitió una detección precoz de la enfermedad y la adopción de medidas oportunas para contribuir a la disminución de la mortalidad por esta afección.

DeCS: programas; COVID-19; estudiantes; educación de la población; educación médica.



Submitted: 08/12/2022
Accepted: 16/01/2023



The appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has marked a milestone in international public health. It has been shown that health systems based on secondary and tertiary care have presented limitations to give a timely and effective response to the spread of the disease; It is necessary to adopt appropriate measures in Primary Health Care (PHC), linked to the early detection of patients, asymptomatic carriers, suspects, contacts, with the consequent application of preventive actions at different moments of the development of the disease.(1)

Active research is a diagnostic action that tends to identify individual health status in population groups to establish existing risk factors and early discovery of hidden morbidity, with the aim of being included in programs to guarantee follow-up and continued care.(23)

Sagua la Grande Faculty of Medical Sciences in the north-central region of the province of Villa Clara is attached toVilla Clara University of Medical Sciences. At first, during the end of March and the month of April of the year 2020, the students of the medical sciences careers were in the two teaching polyclinics of the municipality and distributed by family medical office and family nurses; under the supervision of health professionals and faculty professors, they carried out the investigations without neglecting independent work in the different subjects. Students of medical sciences in their university education internalize the responsibilities that medicine implies, this is not only limited to the acquisition of scientific and academic knowledge, but also to the acquisition of ethical values, because this career is characterized by being a profession of service, a clear example of the disposition assumed by students of medical sciences to face COVID-19.

In this sense, Vázquez González and Machado Rojas(4) express that the active investigation has constituted a prevention strategy adopted by the Ministry of Public Health in the midst of the current epidemiological situation, with satisfactory results demonstrated with its implementation. In this context, medical sciences students have served as the main agents of this contest and as part of the curricular reorganization of the teaching-educational process.

The investigation was organized in the "Mario Antonio Pérez" and "IdalbertoRevuelta" teaching polyclinics, where there was a command post with a group of faculty teachers. It began with students from the first to the fifth year of the Medicine and Dentistry degrees, first and second of the LPN of the Nursing degree and the different profiles of Health Technologies; In the month of February, the first-year students of all the careers residing in the Sagua la Grande municipality were incorporated and the number of homes to visit increased.

Unquestionably, active research in the fight against COVID-19 has played a key role since the first reports of the disease in Cuba. Medical science students from all over the country have carried out this task with great responsibility, leaving fear and anxiety behind. During this long period, they have developed, simultaneously, the distance teaching-learning process and the research work, reaching the homes of the Cuban people with great commitment and dedication.(5)

The background of active research in anti-vector actions has made it possible to raise awareness among people, families, and communities about the value of this. Faced with Covid-19, the GP and Nurse Program has demonstrated efficient tracking of the chain of infections, contacts, suspects, and focus control.

There is no doubt that the active research work has been developed together with health professionals, whose tasks include the supervision and guidance of the activity carried out by the students to optimize the results. The reviewed literature evidences the interest of professionals in perfecting active research, evidenced in the accompaniment of students.(6,7,8,9)

Every morning, the students collected data regarding the presence of symptoms, carried out health promotion actions, by explaining the measures and adjustments in daily behaviour; In addition, they identified the care needs of elderly or disabled people. All these tasks were carried out ethically, disinterestedly and in compliance with protection regulations with the application of other measures such as the mandatory use of masks, social distancing, and hand washing.

According to Proenza-Fernández etal.,(6) during active research, knowledge is consolidated and new ones are acquired, mainly in the anamnesis and in the doctor-patient-family relationship, the main axis of the health-disease process. Knowledge needs to be constantly updated from reliable bases and becomes more important in the current context, in which cognitive tools are necessary to deal with COVID-19.



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8. Rodríguez García S, Marcano Pérez A, Hidalgo Ávila M, Sánchez Figueras Y, Martínez Lorenzo FY, García Martín D. Comportamiento de los estudiantes de Ciencias Médicas ante la pesquisa activa durante la COVID-19. 16 de Abril [Internet]. 2020 [citado 16/11/2022];59(277):[aprox. 8 p.]. Disponible en:

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Conflict of interests

The authors declare not to have any interest conflicts.



Contribution of the authors

Collection of information, writing and review of the final report: Yovana Betancourt Roque, Nubia Blanco Barbeito and YordankaOlanoTruffin.

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