Conceptions and practices of community health agents caring for the elderly

  • Adriana Falangola Benjamin Bezerra Universidade Federal de Pernambuco; Departamento de Medicina Social
  • Antônio Carlos Gomes do Espírito Santo Universidade Federal de Pernambuco; Departamento de Medicina Social
  • Malaquias Batista Filho Universidade Federal de Pernambuco; Departamento de Nutrição
Keywords: Community health agent, Aging health, Aged, Aging, Health knowledge^i2^sattitudes, pract

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the main conceptions related to the aging process among community health agents. METHODS: An exploratory descriptive qualitative study was carried out in Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil, from 2000 to 2002. Data was collected from records and interviews with 148 community health agents. The thematic analysis allowed data classification and assembling. RESULTS: The results show that community health agents identified their main tasks as the development of activities in health education and performance of basic actions. Most of them had negative opinions on the aging process, and complete understanding of the concept of health. They mentioned that most complaints by the elderly are health-related problems and need for affection. Community agents identified caring for the elderly as their main responsibility and inadequate service organization made it difficult to operationalize care delivery. Regarding their expectations, they were found to want to further their knowledge on the aging process. CONCLUSIONS: Community health agents identified themselves as main actors for delivery basic care and core agents in the accomplishment of specific health policies. Their conceptions had a positive perspective in relation to their attributions and aging health. The study points out to the need of promoting agents' training to make them able to deal with the multiple aspects of aging.
Published
2005-10-01
How to Cite
Bezerra, A., Espírito Santo, A., & Batista Filho, M. (2005). Conceptions and practices of community health agents caring for the elderly . Revista De Saúde Pública, 39(5), 809-815. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102005000500017
Section
Original Articles