Accessibility / Report Error

Quality dimensions in health evaluation: manager's conceptions

OBJECTIVE: To understand manager's perceptions and experiences in regards to qualitative evaluations in basic health care. METHODOLOGICAL PROCEDURES: A qualitative study, based on the critical interpretive approach, was performed in 2006, in the city of Fortaleza, Northeastern Brazil. The sample consisted of the group responsible for planning basic health care at the state level. In order to obtain the empirical data, the focus group technique was utilized. ANALYSIS OF RESULTS: Two central themes emerged concerning the perceptions about quality and the dimensions of quality employed in health evaluations, which were revealed in distinct ways. The concepts of quality evaluation and qualitative evaluation did not appear clearly understood, confusing qualitative evaluation with formal quality evaluations. Likewise, the inherent multidimensionality of quality was not recognized. Despite the criticism expressed by the participants regarding the improper quantification of certain dimensions, the necessary technical skills and understanding were not observed for the approach to include the distinct dimensions of quality in the evaluation process. CONCLUSIONS: The conceptions of managers responsible for the planning of basic health care at the state level revealed an important disassociation from the premises of qualitative evaluation, especially those evaluations oriented by the fourth generation approach. Therefore, the model adopted by these actors for the evaluation of program and service quality did not consider their multidimensionality.

Health Management; Health Manpower; Health Services Evaluation; Personnel Management; Qualitative Research


Faculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo Avenida Dr. Arnaldo, 715, 01246-904 São Paulo SP Brazil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7985 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: revsp@usp.br