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Saúde e Sociedade

versão impressa ISSN 0104-1290versão On-line ISSN 1984-0470

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ESPOSTI, Carolina Dutra Degli; OLIVEIRA, Adauto Emmerich; SANTOS NETO, Edson Theodoro dos  e  TRAVASSOS, Claudia. Social Representations of prenatal care access within the Brazilian National Health System in the Metropolitan Region of Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil. Saude soc. [online]. 2015, vol.24, n.3, pp.765-779. ISSN 0104-1290.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-12902015127606.

Social representations of postpartum women on access to prenatal care highlight aspects related to access barriers and ways to overcome them. The aim of this study was to analyze access to prenatal care based on the social representations of users of the Brazilian National Health System. Out of a set of 1,035 postpartum women, we selected 24 from the Metropolitan Region of Vitória, Espírito Santo (Southeastern Brazil): a group of 14 postpartum women who attended more than six prenatal consultations and a group of 10 postpartum women who did not have any consultations or attended up to three. Individual qualitative interviews addressed issues about access to health services, according to the dimensions availability, affordability and acceptability. Thematic content analysis revealed satisfactory access situations, but also the existence of geographical access barriers, organizational barriers, unavailability of material and human resources, direct and indirect costs for obtaining care, unmet expectations about the procedures, and more subjective aspects. Both groups presented similar results. Differences in the ability to face these obstacles were decisive for an adequate access to prenatal care. We believe that including the social representations of pregnant women in the evaluation of prenatal care facilitates the adoption of measures to ensure improved access.

Palavras-chave : Prenatal Care; Health Services Accessibility; Social Representations.

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