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Saúde e Sociedade
Print version ISSN 0104-1290
SEOANE, Antonio Ferreira and FORTES, Paulo Antonio de Carvalho. The Family Health Program users' perception of the privacy and confidentiality of their information. Saude soc. [online]. 2009, vol.18, n.1, pp.42-49. ISSN 0104-1290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-12902009000100005.
This study aimed at learning how the Family Health Program (PSF Programa Saúde da Família) user perceives his/her right to information privacy and confidentiality and how s/he relates the domicile visit to his/her right to privacy. It is a qualitative and exploratory study. The investigation instrument was a script for semi-structured interviews, developed by the researchers, with open questions. Users registered at a PSF Unit in the southeast region of the city of São Paulo were interviewed. The results showed that the interviewees did not consider the entrance of the community health agent (ACS Agente Comunitário de Saúde) in their houses as an invasion of their privacy. The technical aspect of the ACS was highlighted and, sometimes, information about stigmatized diseases was revealed to the agent with the aim of having a faster access to the treatment. Only a few users thought of information secrecy maintenance as a right. A tendency to admit that the secret pieces of information given by the users may be revealed by the ACS and by the health service dis(organization) was also detected. From what was said, it could be seen that gender relationships and the care taken when revealing certain sicknesses are very important. Diseases like AIDS, tuberculosis, cancer, prostate diseases and even diabetes appeared as diseases that can cause prejudice. There seemed to be certain acquiescence on the part of the user in relation to the perception of the lack of respect for the secrecy of the revealed information.
Keywords : Primary Care; Family Health Program; Community Health Agent; Bioethics; Privacy; Confidentiality.