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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4464


DIAS-DA-COSTA, Juvenal Soares et al. Use of outpatient health services by women: a population-based study in southern Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.12, pp.2843-2851. ISSN 0102-311X.

The aim of this study was to verify the use of outpatient health services and associated factors among women ages 20 to 60 years living in the urban area of São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. This was a cross-sectional, population-based study with a sample of 1,026 women in 2003. The association between the independent variables and the outcome was evaluated by means of prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI). Poisson regression was used with a hierarchical model. Among 1,022 women, 136 (13.3%; 95%CI: 11.2-15.4) had not used outpatient services in the 12 months prior to the interview. Women in lower socioeconomic classes (C, D, and E), with less schooling, and with lower income showed lower use of outpatient health services. Thus, the most vulnerable women and those with the greatest health needs showed the lowest use of health services, suggesting unfavorable conditions in the local health system and pointing to the presence of lack of universal care and equal access.

Keywords : Ambulatory Health Services; Health Services Accessibility; Women.

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