Social representation of the community therapist in the Brazilian Unified Health System

The approval of the National Policy of Integrative and Complementary Practices fosters the provision of Community Therapy in the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS). This initiative seeks to develop the necessary competencies to attend to the psychosocial demands in the professionals and the community leadership and to build support networks in order to extend the efficacy of Primary Health Care. This study aims to describe the social representation on the community therapist prepared by health care professionals employed at SUS. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 27 professionals who were trained in Community Therapy in 2009 by the State Health Department of Santa Catarina in partnership with the Ministry of Health. Data analysis was carried out by descending hierarchical classification. The results revealed that there is a social representation among the professionals regarding what it signifies to be a community therapist, seen as someone who humanizes interpersonal relations in the health care sector. However, Primary Health Care professionals still subscribe to a less horizontalized group practice model than professionals working at the secondary level of care, represented in this study by the Psychosocial Care Centers (CAPS).

Community therapy; Social representation; Unified Health System; Psychosocial Care Centers

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