Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Public Health and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Assessment of primary health care received by the elderly and health related quality of life: a cross-sectional study

Vivian C Honorato dos Santos de Carvalho1, Sinara L Rossato1, Flávio D Fuchs2, Erno Harzheim12 and Sandra C Fuchs12*

Author affiliations

1 Postgraduate Studies Program in Epidemiology, School of Medicine, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Ramiro Barcelos 2600, Porto CEP, 90035-003, Alegre, RS, Brazil

2 National Institute for Science and Technology for Health Technology Assessment, (IATS), Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Ramiro Barcelos 2350, Clinical Research Center, CEP, 90035–003, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:605  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-605

Published: 24 June 2013

Abstract

Background

Population aging leads to increased burden of chronic diseases and demand in public health. This study aimed to assess whether the score of Primary Health Care (PHC) is associated with a) the model of care - Family Health Strategy (FHS) vs. traditional care model (the Basic Health Units; BHU); b) morbid conditions such as - hypertension, diabetes mellitus, mental disorders, chronic pain, obesity and central obesity; c) quality of life in elderly individuals who received care in those units.

Methods

A survey was conducted among the elderly between August 2010 and August 2011, in Ilheus, Bahia. We interviewed elderly patients - 60 years or older - who consulted at BHU or FHS units in that day or participated in a group activity, and those who were visited at home by the staff of PHC, selected through a random sample. Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, services’ attainment of primary care attributes, health problems and quality of life were investigated. The Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) was used to assess quality of life and PCATool to generate PHC scores. In addition, weight, height and waist circumference were measured. Trained research assistants, under supervision performed the data collection.

Results

A total of 511 elderly individuals were identified, two declined to participate, resulting in 509 individuals interviewed. The health care provided by the FHS has higher attainment of PHC attributes, in comparison to the BHU, resulting in lower prevalence of score below six. Except for hypertension and cardiovascular disease, other chronic problems were not independently associated with low scores in PHC. It was observed an independent and positive association between PHC score and the mental component of quality of life and an inverse association with the physical component.

Conclusions

This study showed higher PHC attributes attainment in units with FHS, regardless of the health problem. The degree of orientation to PHC increased the mental component score of quality of life.

Keywords:
Primary health care; Elderly; Quality of life; Family health; Family health strategy; Hypertension; Family medicine