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Physis: Revista de Saúde Coletiva

versão On-line ISSN 1809-4481


FERREIRA NETO, João Leite  e  KIND, Luciana. Group practices as health promotion device. Physis [online]. 2010, vol.20, n.4, pp.1119-1142. ISSN 1809-4481.

This paper presents and discusses data from a research about group practices developed by Family Health Teams of the nine Sanitary Districts of Belo Horizonte city. We conducted interviews with managers and health professionals from Basic Health Units, focus groups with customers and participant observation of regular groups of health units. In data analysis we aimed to highlight the process dimension and the historical construction of the investigated practices through the discussion of five aspects: (1) reasons to promote group practices; (2) changes on the structure of group practices; (3) informative and participative dimensions of the groups; (4) effects and (5) assessment of group practices. The analyses show that group practices have multiple aspects related to services organization and healthcare, the function and objectives placed by different teams, and its configuration. There is an incipient shift of approach concerning practices centered in diseases for the creation of groups by new structural axis, according to the municipal guidelines for primary health. Data show the impact of group practices in reducing the request for individual appointments and in enhancing the bond between customers, health professionals and services. The results indicate the tension between the "individual appointment" device and the "group practices" device. The former is marked by the focus in disease, while the latter produces its blurring, highlighting other dimensions of life associated with health promotion.

Palavras-chave : Health Promotion; group practices; family healthcare; device.

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