Psychology in primary health care: reflexions and practical issues

The inclusion of Psychology in the primary health care has been a subject under discussion with proposals of change in the recent decades. This study aimed to characterize psychological practices in the primary health care in Ribeirão Preto-SP, Brazil and verify whether proposals to change practices were incorporated. Five psychologists working in this context were interviewed. Collected data were analyzed through the Social Health Psychology perspective. Results revealed that the professionals did not have specific undergraduate or graduate education in public health. The psychological practices were restricted to consultations at a secondary care level focused on children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems. We consider mandatory the inclusion of public health topics in undergraduate programs as well as the promotion of continuous education as a strategy to reorganize psychological services.

public health services; health care psychology; psychologists

Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Filosofia Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Psicologia Av.Bandeirantes 3900 - Monte Alegre, 14040-901 Ribeirão Preto - São Paulo - Brasil, Tel.: (55 16) 3315-3829 - Ribeirão Preto - SP - Brazil