Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Transformational learning for health professionals through a Theatre of the Oppressed workshop
  1. Satendra Singh1,
  2. Juhi Kalra2,
  3. Sanjoy Das3,
  4. Purnima Barua4,
  5. Navjeevan Singh5,
  6. Upreet Dhaliwal6
  1. 1Physiology, University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, India
  2. 2Pharmacology, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, India
  3. 3Forensic Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, India
  4. 4Microbiology, Jorhat Medical College and Hospital, Jorhat, India
  5. 5Pathology, University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, India
  6. 6Ophthalmology, University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Upreet Dhaliwal, Ophthalmology, University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, India; upreetdhaliwal{at}yahoo.com

Abstract

Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) is a powerful participatory tool for communities to examine their struggles against oppression. The healthcare community has problems inherent to complex, unequal power equations, and TO may be a useful means to understand and respond to their struggle. A 3-day workshop on TO was facilitated by the authors in the Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences (HIMS) in Dehradun, India, in August 2017. The workshop culminated in the ‘Forum Theatre’, which included five short plays, each depicting a struggle due to real-life oppression faced by one or the other participant. The audience (about 200 invited members of the HIMS community) chose one play depending on the struggle with which they identified most. That play was ‘forumed’: spectators were invited to replace the struggling person and demonstrate how they would handle the oppression. Over the next week, participants reflected on the workshop through a structured online questionnaire. The feedback (n=16/27 participants; response rate 59.3%) was subjected to descriptive statistics and to qualitative analysis. The highest average Likert score (out of a maximum of 5) was given to the following items: TO engages senses and emotions (4.6±0.50), can help inculcate ethical behaviour (4.4±0.81), identifies conflict (4.4±0.51), and resolves issues of attitude, behaviour, communication, diversity and empathy (4.4±0.73). The Forum Theatre was reported to be a means to “express emotions and opinions and to simultaneously gather the same from others”; “make people push their own limits”; “bring out social problems in public”; “examine the root causes behind lived experience”; “provide context for understanding and for exploring alternatives”; and “convert thoughts to action.” In conclusion, TO is an engaging activity that identifies conflict; participants’ initial reactions suggest that it may initiate change in the ABCDE attributes (attitude, behaviour, communication, diversity, ethics and empathy) of medical professionals.

  • Communication
  • Diversity
  • Education, medical
  • Empathy
  • Medical/health humanities
  • Theatre of the Oppressed
View Full Text

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Contributors SS, NS: substantial contributions to the conception and design of the work; acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data for the work; revising it critically for important intellectual content; final approval of the version to be published; and agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. JK, SD, PB: substantial contributions to the conception and design of the work; acquisition and analysis of data for the work; revising it critically for important intellectual content; final approval of the version to be published; and agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. UD: substantial contributions to the conception and design of the work; acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data for the work; drafting the work and revising it critically for important intellectual content; final approval of the version to be published; and agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not applicable.

  • Ethics approval Since the feedback data were anonymous and involved no risk to the participants, the Institutional Ethics Committee of HIMS granted an exemption from review (SRHU/HIMS/ETHICS/2019/96 dated 19 July 2019). The committee was apprised that the participants had volunteered to participate in the workshop and had been informed that submission of anonymous online feedback would be taken as indirect indication of consent.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.