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The comprehensive nature of primary health care: evaluation from the user standpoint

This study sought to evaluate the comprehensive nature of Primary Health Care (PHC), from the standpoint of the users of the Family Health Strategy (FHS) and users of others services of PHC. It involved a cross-sectional, analytical and quantitative study conducted in Montes Claros in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. For data collection, the adult version of a validated Primary Care Assessment Tool questionnaire was applied to 373 adult service users, of which 124 (33.6%) reported attendance by the FHS and 249 (66.4%) reported attendance by other services. Scores were assigned for the eight dimensions of the instrument, though only three were used for this study, namely first contact, accessibility, and longitudinality. The results showed that in relation to the comprehensive nature of PHC, there was a better evaluation by the population that uses the FHS compared to those who use other services. The first contact, accessibility and longitudinality attributes obtained higher scores in the FHS care provided in comparison with other services, with statistical significance for all attributes. The conclusion drawn is that it is of fundamental importance to assess the attributes of PHC in order to improve the quality of services provided.

Comprehensive care; Primary health care; Evaluation; Users of health services

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