The aim of this study is to compare traditional primary care units and family health units to determine which of the two models is better oriented towards primary care for children, considering the existence and scope of essential and intermediate attributes of primary care. We interviewed a total of 1,484 parents and guardians of children under 10 years of age enrolled in family health units in João Pessoa, Paraíba State, Brazil, as well as in traditional primary care units in Cascavel, Paraná State, Brazil, and mixed primary care units in Londrina, Paraná State, Brazil. The Primary Care Assessment Tool Brazil, children’s version, was used for this purpose. The parametric one-way ANOVA test was used to identify statistically significant differences between the models of care, followed by the Tukey post hoc multiple comparison test to identify which model presented differences. The study design’s limitations notwithstanding, the findings raised the hypothesis that mixed primary care units were the model best oriented to primary care for children. The difference may relate to the fact that the different models belonged to different municipalities, without the possibility of adjusting the variables linked to the different contexts in the variables. Thus, this hypothesis may be proven by future studies with more robust designs and expanded to include other users and health professionals.
Primary Health Care; Child Health; Health Services Research