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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790X


PAULA, Regiane de et al. Why do tuberculosis patients look for urgency and emergency unities for diagnosis: a study on social representation. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2014, vol.17, n.3, pp.600-614. ISSN 1415-790X.


To understand the social representations of patients and professionals working in the field of tuberculosis, on the reasons for seeking diagnosis and treatment in the emergency room and not in the primary health care units called Unidades Básicas de Saúde (UBS) or in the health program Programa de Saúde da Família near their residence.


The survey was conducted in the health services in the municipalities of São Paulo and Guarulhos, Brazil, in hospitals and UBS. We interviewed 20 patients and 20 employees of these units, using the Collective Subject Discourse methodology to analyze their statements. The question presented to the users was: "Why did you seek the urgent emergency hospital and not the UBS to see if you had tuberculosis?" For professionals it was asked: "Why do you think the patient seeks diagnosis in the hospital and not in the UBS?"


As a result, two categories were found: (A) the cultural patterns; and (B) faults of the basic network.


Analysis of the two explanatory dimensions show that the actions triggered by the health services should take into account the cultural patterns present in the social imaginary of the population; the health staff should receive training on specific knowledge of tuberculosis; there is a necessity of hiring human resources for the UBS and more inputs for programming.

Keywords : Social representation; Tuberculosis; Health services; Primary health care; Organizational culture; Health Personnel.

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