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Revista de Saúde Pública

versão On-line ISSN 1518-8787


OSIS, Maria José Duarte; DUARTE, Graciana Alves  e  FAUNDES, Aníbal. Violence among female users of healthcare units: prevalence, perspective and conduct of managers and professionals. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.2, pp.351-358.  Epub 24-Fev-2012. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of violence in women who are primary healthcare users and to verify if these situations were detected and how they were tackled by these services' professionals. METHODS: Descriptive, cross-sectional study carried out with 14 municipal women's health coordinators, 2,379 women who are users of primary healthcare units, 75 managers and 375 professionals, in 15 municipalities of the State of São Paulo (Southeastern Brazil), between August 2008 and May 2009. Data were collected through structured questionnaires and a descriptive analysis was conducted. RESULTS: A specific protocol for assisting women in situations of violence was mentioned in five municipalities. The majority (83%) of the coordinators reported that situations of violence among female users were detected, although 74% said this was not routinely investigated, which was confirmed by 72.3% of the professionals. Among the women, 76.5% reported having experienced some type of violence throughout their lives, and 56.4% said that an intimate partner was the perpetrator of that violence; almost 30% reported at least one episode in the 12 months prior to the interview; 6.5% reported looking for help at a Primary Healthcare Unit. CONCLUSIONS: A relevant proportion of users experienced violence in their daily routine, mainly perpetrated by an intimate partner. Most of the women were neither identified nor approached in these services and did not receive help. Although health managers and professionals realized the magnitude of the problem, they did not consider that primary care was prepared to assist these women. The study showed that there is no intersectoral care network to assist women in situation of violence.

Palavras-chave : Attitude of Health Personnel; Basic Health Services; Battered Women; Violence Against Women; Epidemiology, Descriptive.

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