University Complutense of Madrid
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Learning by educating: Virtual service-learning experience of oral health promotion

COVID-19 needs to be addressed

People with disabilities present anatomical, physiological, physical and / or psychological characteristics that make them more vulnerable to oral pathology, especially tooth decay and periodontal diseases. These people, depending on the degree of disability, age, cooperation and systemic involvement, should require, to a greater or lesser extent, the support of other people to carry out daily tasks, among which are those related to personal hygiene and care.

On the other hand, they also require close monitoring to achieve or maintain their oral health. Such monitoring has been compromised during the pandemic due to restrictions on mobility to which they have been subjected as they are a population at risk.

Country: Spain

Year: 2020-2021

Institution: Complutense University of Madrid

# of students: 56

Person in charge: Margarita Iniesta Albentosa

Email: margaini@ucm.es

Interaction with beneficiaries: Virtual

Academic Degree: Undergraduate

Discipline(s): Medicine and health | Education | Dentistry

Community Service Area & ODS: Good health and well-being | Reducing Inequalities

Brief description

The project aims to promote oral health in people with disabilities. The methodology combines service learning with inter-professional education, through the collaborative work of dentistry students at Complutense University of Madrid and education students at University Centre La Salle.

This year an entirely virtual program has been developed for the health situation caused by COVID-19. Online development has been carried out to minimize the contagions that could be caused by this risk collective.

The students became aware of how to work with other people, of intellectual disability and took the perspective of the world in which we live and how it affects them. Some examples are:

“One of the best things about the project has been to see the happiness of the person with whom we were virtual interacting, in addition to that I have learned from her by seeing her ability”

“I have learned many values ​​of daily life that we sometimes forget and it has made me think about the limitations that people put on the disabled people and the amount of prejudice that exists and that should disappear”