Evaluation of the quality of Primary Health Care services for children: reflections on the feasibility of using the Brazilian version of the Primary Care Assessment Tool as a routine assessment tool
To assess the quality of the Primary Health Care services provided to children and the feasibility of using the Brazilian version of Primary Care Assessment Tool (PCAT-Brazil) as a routine quality assessment tool.
A cross-sectional study was carried out in Joanópolis, a small rural town in the State of São Paulo (SP), Brazil. Seven health professionals and 502 caretakers of children using the public health center were interviewed using the PCAT-Brazil, collecting data on the core and related attributes of Primary Health Care provided to children. The score of each attribute was calculated.
Caretakers rated as good the following attributes; “degree of affiliation”, “first contact care − use of services”, “coordinated care”, and “comprehensive care − available services”. The attributes of “first contact accessibility”, “long term person care”, “comprehensive care − offered services” and “family- and community-oriented care” were scored as poor. The health professionals only rated the attribute of “first contact accessibility” as satisfactory, and considered that all other Primary Health Care attributes needed improvement. To conduct this study, at least 1,241 working hours were invested, and the estimated budget was R$12.900,00 (or U$3,953.00).
The use of the PCAT-Brazil as a routine assessment and planning tool seemed to be not feasible in the given setting due to high costs, lack of trained personnel and the huge workload. To overcome the encountered obstacles, advices are given based on field experience.