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Revista de Saúde Pública

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MARTIN, Denise; ANDREOLI, Sergio Baxter; PINTO, Rosa Maria Ferreiro  and  BARREIRA, Tânia Maria Hourneaux de Mendonça. Living conditions of people with psychotic disorders living in slums in Santos, Southeastern Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2011, vol.45, n.4, pp.693-699. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the living conditions and sociability among people with severe mental disorders living in slums. METHODOLOGICAL PROCEDURES: A qualitative study was carried out among adults living in slums in the central region of Santos, Southeastern Brazil, conducted in 2004-2006. Ethnographic observations were made in four slum properties, and in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight women who were living with individuals with psychotic disorders. The analysis method used was qualitative, based on anthropology. ANALYSIS OF RESULTS: The slum properties presented specific characteristics regarding sociability. The difficulties with psychotic patients came from breakage of the minimal rules. In one of the slum properties, one resident acted as a caregiver for the patients and kept closely in touch with the healthcare services. Despite day-to-day contact with such patients, the participants did not have any information about such disorders and believed that the patients were mad, nervous or mentally weak. They believed that such individuals should live in places other than the slum property. CONCLUSIONS: The population living in these slum properties did not deal with the individuals with psychotic disorders any differently from the general population, because of lack of knowledge, discrimination and stigmatization. The living conditions were poor for everyone, without any difference for the residents with psychotic disorders, except for those living in the collective residence with a greater number of patients, which was organized around them and was economically dependent on their benefits.

Keywords : Psychotic Disorders; Social Conditions; Poverty Areas; Qualitative Research.

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