Ergonomics Intervention Project in Undergraduate Physical Therapy Program. A Curricular Innovation Approach

  • Cerda Díaz Leonidas
  • Rodríguez Carolina
  • Cerda Díaz Eduardo
  • Olivares Giovanni
  • Antúnez MarcelaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 818)


Competency-based education in ergonomics was incorporated into the physical therapy undergraduate educational program in the University of Chile in 2009 in conjunction with the construction of the graduation profile. The course “Ergonomic Intervention Project” is developed in the last year of the career (5 years of duration). The aim of this non-experimental, cross-sectional analytical design study was to evaluate the academic performance of the course and the students’ perceptions regarding the pedagogical and disciplinary domain. Forty-three students took the course. The academic performance was recorded and a survey was applied in order to evaluate pedagogical domain, disciplinary domain and general aspects. Academic performance average was 5.94 (min 5.28 max 6.51) on a scale of 1 to 7 with all the students approved. Thirty-three students answered the survey sent. Pedagogical dimension obtained a 2.87 score and the disciplinary domain a 3.41 score (Likert 1–4). Regarding the evaluation of the general aspects of the course, 73% was satisfied/very satisfied with the performance of the faculty team, 87% declared to know the evaluation criteria of the subject in a timely manner, 91% considered requirement of the course adequate. Student perception in the pedagogical and disciplinary domain were satisfactory. Teaching-learning strategies based on the experiential learning cycle, in context guided by expert teachers considering an educational competencies model, allow the habilitation in ergonomics themes in undergraduate students.


Undergraduate education Ergonomics Curricular innovation 


  1. University of Chile (2018) Educative model, Santiago, Chile.
  2. Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile (2012) Educative model, Santiago, Chile.
  3. De Miguel Díaz M (2005) Modalidades de enseñanza centradas en el desarrollo de competencias: orientaciones para promover el cambio metodológico en el espacio europeo de educación superior. Servicio de Publicaciones, Universidad de OviedoGoogle Scholar
  4. Gruppen LD, Mangrulkar RS, Kolars JC (2012) The promise of competency-based education in the health professions for improving global health. Hum Resour Health 10(1):43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Adam K, Strong J, Chipchase L (2014) Readiness for work injury management and prevention: important attributes for early graduate occupational therapists and physiotherapists. Work 48(4):567–578Google Scholar
  6. Barbosa LH, Pinheiro MHC (2012a) Teaching ergonomics to undergraduate physical therapy students: new methodologies and impressions of a Brazilian experience. Work 41(Supplement 1):4790–4794Google Scholar
  7. Barbosa LH, Pinheiro MHC (2012b) The challenges of interdisciplinary education and its application on teaching ergonomics. Work 41(Supplement 1):5456–5458Google Scholar
  8. Barrios Castañeda P, Ruiz LA, González Guerrero K (2012) The logbook as a monitoring and evaluation instrument-formation of residents in the ophthalmology program. Inv Andina 14(24):402–412Google Scholar
  9. Bridger RS (2012) An international perspective on ergonomics education. Ergon Des 20(4):12–17Google Scholar
  10. Bures M (2015) Efficient education of ergonomics in industrial engineering study program. Procedia-Soc Behav Sci 174:3204–3209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Downing SM, Yudkowsky R (2009) Assessment in health professions education. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Furniss D, Curzon P, Blandford A (2017) Exploring organizational competencies in Human Factors and UX project work: managing careers, project tactics and organizational strategy. Ergonomics, 1–52Google Scholar
  13. Hignett S, Jones EL, Miller D, Wolf L, Modi C, Shahzad MW, Catchpole K (2015) Human factors and ergonomics and quality improvement science: integrating approaches for safety in healthcare. BMJ Qual Saf 24(4):250–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Prendushi H (2016) The attitudes of physiotherapy students toward occupational medicine. Eur Sci J ESJ 12(36)Google Scholar
  15. Williams C (2008) In search of ergonomics expertise. Doctoral thesis, © Claire WilliamsGoogle Scholar
  16. Wilson JR (2000) Education and recognition of ergonomists. In: Proceedings of the human factors and ergonomics society annual meeting, vol. 44, no. 33. SAGE Publications, Los Angeles, pp 6–100Google Scholar
  17. Knowles M, Holton E, Swanson RA (2012) The adult learner. The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. ElsevierGoogle Scholar
  18. Pintrich PR (2003) A motivational science perspective on the role of student motivation in learning and teaching contexts. J Educ Psychol 95(4):667–686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Taylor DC, Hamdy H (2013) Adult learning theories: implications for learning and teaching in medical education: AMEE guide no. 83. Med Teach 35(11):e1561–e1572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. International Ergonomics Association: Professional Standards and Education Committee, Version 2 (2001, October) Full version of core competencies in ergonomics: units, elements and performance criteria.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cerda Díaz Leonidas
    • 1
  • Rodríguez Carolina
    • 1
  • Cerda Díaz Eduardo
    • 1
  • Olivares Giovanni
    • 1
  • Antúnez Marcela
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Ergonomics and Biomechanical Laboratory, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Department of Education in Health Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of ChileSantiagoChile

Personalised recommendations