OBJECTIVE: To explore the boundaries and agents which make up women's knowledge about health care. METHODS: A qualitative study was carried out in 4 regions in Mexico. Forty middle-aged women (between 35 and 65 years old) were interviewed and their responses analyzed. RESULTS: The findings of this study point out to the relationship of women and their different social interactions with their health care practice. Among these interactions are: the contact with health services (which shapes the way women take care of their own health and their family); mass media (particularly television); use of medicines; traditional healers; knowledge acquired from their grandparents, mothers, and peers; and women's own experience while taking care of their family. Health care at home setting is a mixture of traditional healing practices and the conventional medical practices disseminated among the population. CONCLUSION: The different social interactions in which women are involved make up the way Mexican women take care of their own health and their family.
Home nursing; Knowledge, atitudes, practice; Women; Interpersonal relations; Health education; Health services; Self care; Social interaction