Speech-language therapy offer and primary health care in Brazil: an analysis based on socioeconomic development

Oferta de fonoaudiologia e atenção primária em saúde no Brasil: uma análise baseada no desenvolvimento socioeconômico

Rafaela Soares Rech Fernando Neves Hugo Jeanne Gabriele Schmidt Bárbara Niegia Garcia de Goulart Juliana Balbinot Hilgert About the authors

ABSTRACT

Purpose

To describe the presence of speech-language therapists (SLT) in the primary health care (PHC) in Brazil and its association with socioeconomic inequalities.

Methods

Cross-sectional study with 17,157 PHC services in all Brazilian states. Based on the NASF External Assessment Questionnaire sub-item “speech-language therapist”, which was used to answer the question “What NASF professionals support your PHC service?”, in addition to contextual data (regional population, number of registered SLP, speech therapy college courses, city HDI and Gini Index).

Results

From all the PHC services supported by NASF, 50.8% (8713/17,157) has SLPs as part of the team. Brazil’s Southeast region has the higher prevalence of SLP at the team (57.4%; 5,575). South Region has the lower prevalence (28.9%; 625). The presence of SLP support is directly proportional to HDI stratum and Gini Index (average and high).

Conclusion

There is an important limitation of public care to treat communication and swallowing disorders in Brazil.

Keywords
Primary Health Care; Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences; Public Health; Family Health; Unified Health System

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