Understanding popular health education: a review of the brazilian literature

Luciano Bezerra Gomes Emerson Elias Merhy About the authors

This article reviews the Brazilian literature on popular health education, a theoretical area that includes a relevant group of the country's public health researchers and political activists. This was a qualitative, exploratory, analytical study. Based on a search in the SciELO database and books and book chapters, we systematized the academic output on popular health education in Brazil. The article discusses the historical process in which popular health education was constructed by various social movements. We further analyze the general characteristics of popular health education and its main agendas, the ways by which authors with this perspective view the educational work of health services for the population, and their critiques and disputes with the hegemonic approach to the organization of education and health care. Finally, we identify several additional contributions to popular health education's foundations and principles.

Health Education; Consumer Participation; Qualitative Research


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