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Rev Esc Enferm USP. 2012 Oct;46(5):1170-7.

[Community Health Agents' perceptions and practice in mental health].

[Article in Portuguese]

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  • 1Departamento da Enfermagem, Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Maringá, Brasil.


The objectives of this study are to identity the perceptions of community health agents regarding health and mental disorders, and to verify the preparation these agents receive to work in this field. This qualitative study was performed using semi-structured interviews for data collection and utilizing content analysis to interpret the data. Interviews were performed with 45 community health agents working in the Family Health Strategy, who reported to 21 basic health units in the city of Maringá, PR. Results show the prejudice that these workers have regarding mental disorders. They recognize the importance of working with the patient and the family but do not feel prepared to provide adequate care. Because they share the same social context and have a close experience with the community dynamics, we see them as important facilitators of mental healthcare.

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