Being autonomous: what do mental health services indicate?

Poliana Farias Alves Luciane Prado Kantorski Ana Paula Müller de Andrade Valéria Cristina Christello Coimbra Michele Mandagará de Oliveira Karine Langmantel Silveira About the authors



To build qualitative outcome indicators in psychosocial care regarding autonomy from the perspective of users and their families.


This is an evaluative case study based on the dialectical hermeneutics theoretical framework, conducted at a mental health community service, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The first stage of data collection occurred between February and July 2014, and consisted of constructing indicators based on qualitative data analysis of the two evaluative studies conducted at this same service. The second stage, between August and September 2014, consisted of validating the indicators constructed through the focus groups with nine users and nine family members.


The users and relatives stated three qualitative indicators related to their autonomy resulting from their insertion in the service. The indicators were better self-management of income, improved everyday activities, and greater bargaining power.


The methodology proved appropriate to create qualitative indicators, from the perspective of the participants, and revealed that the service helps users achieve autonomy.

Personal autonomy; Mental health; Evaluation; Qualitative research; Indicators

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Escola de Enfermagem Rua São Manoel, 963 -Campus da Saúde , 90.620-110 - Porto Alegre - RS - Brasil, Fone: (55 51) 3308-5242 / Fax: (55 51) 3308-5436 - Porto Alegre - RS - Brazil