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Virtual Paths and Autism: access to health services from the perspective of Social Network Analysis


The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder in the world population and in Brazil is increasing. The Internet has become an important source of information regarding access to health services, including mental health. It remains to be seen if the virtual paths in search of information are related to the outcomes of the line of care for mental disorders advocated by the SUS, such as Autism. Therefore, this article sets out to analyze the virtual network of access to information about care for Autism in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro in 2017 through the perspective of Social Network Analysis. In this regard, virtual data were collected, such as: virtual information sources; care services cited by the virtual sources and type of service (Public, Private or NGOs). Through the use of Gephi software, a sociogram was generated and analyzed. The results point to a predominance of NGO services in the network, greater centrality of degree and power of intermediation in NGO services, in addition to the isolation of public health services. The result implies that the information system about access to public health services for the treatment of ASD is expanded to the general population by contributing to improved access to these services.

Autistic disorder; Social networking; Accessibility of health services; Internet

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