Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública]]> http://www.scielosp.org/rss.php?pid=1020-498920070008&lang=en vol. 22 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielosp.org/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielosp.org <![CDATA[<B>Work features of the psychologist in the primary health care centers of the public health care system in Chile</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892007000800001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVOS: Caracterizar el quehacer de los psicólogos que se desempeñan en los centros públicos de salud primaria de Chile y analizar el grado en que las actividades desempeñadas se ajustan a las especificaciones del Plan Nacional de Salud Mental y Psiquiatría (PNSMP). MÉTODOS: Estudio transversal y descriptivo mediante un cuestionario enviado entre diciembre de 2003 y noviembre de 2004 a una muestra no probabilística de 486 profesionales que trabajaban en unidades del sector público de atención primaria de salud (APS) en los 29 servicios de salud de Chile. La tasa de respuesta final fue de 34,4% (167 respuestas). El cuestionario abarcó: datos generales y demográficos; frecuencia, distribución y características de las acciones realizadas; problemas de salud mental atendidos; percepción sobre la eficacia de la atención, las condiciones que afectan a las intervenciones, la calidad de las condiciones laborales y el nivel de dominio de las técnicas diagnósticas; y las estrategias de intervención requeridas para el ejercicio profesional y la formación necesaria para el desempeño del psicólogo en la APS. Se calcularon estadísticos descriptivos y se aplicaron técnicas de análisis de contenido con codificación abierta. RESULTADOS: Se destinaba mucho más tiempo a consultas e intervenciones individuales que a actividades de prevención y promoción grupales y comunitarias. Más de 93% de los encuestados estaban satisfechos con su trabajo y la valoración de sus pares, pero alrededor de la mitad evaluaron negativamente las condiciones y la estabilidad de su trabajo. La mayoría consideró necesario configurar un plan de estudios que se adapte a las particularidades de la atención primaria y que se deben incluir temas sobre psicología clínica y comunitaria, políticas públicas, y gestión y especificidades de la APS. Los conocimientos específicos más necesarios son los relacionados con las herramientas para la gestión y el conocimiento de las categorías psicodiagnósticas y de los sistemas de clasificación. CONCLUSIONES: Contrario a lo recomendado en el PNSMP, los psicólogos del nivel de atención primaria del sistema público de salud en Chile dedicaban la mayor parte de su jornada laboral a actividades asistenciales de atención directa y de carácter individual, en desmedro de actividades comunitarias dirigidas a fortalecer los factores protectores de la salud mental. Se debe establecer un mecanismo de financiamiento que cubra todas las prioridades definidas en el PNSMP.<hr/>OBJECTIVES: To define work characteristics of psychologists in public primary health care centers in Chile and the degree to which their functions conform to the standards set by the National Plan on Mental Health and Psychiatry (NPMHP). METHODS: From December 2003 to November 2004, a cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted employing a questionnaire sent to a nonrandom sample of 486 professionals working in public primary care centers of Chile’s 29 health districts. The total response rate was 34.4% (167 completed questionnaires). The questionnaire gathered general information and demographics; frequency, distribution, and type of activities performed; the mental health issues treated; personal perspectives on the efficiency of care, factors affecting interventions, and the quality of work conditions; and competence level regarding diagnosis and treatment strategies, as well as the educational background needed to fulfill the role of psychologist at the primary health care centers. Descriptive statistics with 95% confidence intervals were calculated for the quantitative data. Content analysis techniques were applied to the responses to open-ended questions. RESULTS: Considerably more time is being devoted to individual consultations and interventions than to group and community promotion and prevention activities. Over 93% of the survey participants were satisfied with their work and valued their peers; however, more than half gave a negative rating to their work conditions and job security. The majority indicated that preparation for the role must include coursework on the health system, specifically the primary health care setting, and topics such as clinical and group psychology, public health policy, and primary health care management and specifics. Most critical to the work were a knowledge of diagnostic tools and classification systems, i.e., the International Classification of Diseases and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to NPMHP recommendations, the primary health care psychologists in Chile’s public health care system are dedicating most of their time to individual counseling and therapy, rather than community activities designed to strengthen and promote mental health. In addition, a funding plan that supports NPMHP priorities is needed. <![CDATA[<B>Teens in trouble</B>: <B>cigarette use and risky behaviors among private, high school students in La Paz, Bolivia</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892007000800002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence of cigarette smoking and to identify risky behaviors associated with smoking among adolescents attending high schools in a district of La Paz, Bolivia. METHODS: The Youth Risk Behavior Survey was administered to a sample of 394 males and 182 females, from 13-18 years of age, at six, randomly-selected schools in District II of La Paz. Frequencies, chi-square tests, and logistic regression were employed to identify factors associated with cigarette use during the 30 days prior to the survey. RESULTS: Approximately 40% of the sample (39.4% of males and 33.7% of females) had smoked cigarettes in the 30 days prior to interview. For both males and females, consumption of alcohol was the single greatest risk factor associated with cigarette use. The males and females who reported consuming at least one alcoholic beverage on three or more occasions in the previous 30 days were 22.3 and 58.5 times (95% CIs: 6.7, 74.1 and 6.8, 502.6, respectively) more likely to smoke tobacco than those who reported no alcohol consumption. Additional risk factors included having participated in a physical fight, having carried a weapon, having had sexual intercourse, and having used illicit drugs during the previous 30 days. CONCLUSIONS: Because teenagers who smoke are also likely to engage in a variety of other risky behaviors, parents, school administrators, and health educators may wish to use smoking to identify at-risk individuals. Among Bolivian teenagers, interventions should focus on preventing cigarette use and associated risk behaviors.<hr/>OBJETIVO: Describir la prevalencia del consumo de cigarrillos e identificar las conductas de riesgo asociadas con el hábito de fumar en adolescentes de enseñanza media superior de un distrito de La Paz, Bolivia. MÉTODOS: Se aplicó la Encuesta sobre Conductas de Riesgo en los Jóvenes a una muestra de 394 varones y 182 mujeres de 13-18 años de edad de seis escuelas del Distrito II de La Paz seleccionadas al azar. Se identificaron los factores asociados con el consumo de cigarrillos durante los 30 días previos a la encuesta, mediante el análisis de frecuencias, la prueba de la ji al cuadrado y la regresión logística. RESULTADOS: Aproximadamente 40% de la muestra (39,4% de los varones y 33,7% de las mujeres) había fumado cigarrillos en los 30 días previos a la encuesta. Tanto para ellos como para ellas, el consumo de alcohol fue el mayor factor de riesgo asociado con el consumo de cigarrillos. Los varones y las mujeres que informaron haber consumido al menos una bebida alcohólica en tres ocasiones o más durante los 30 días previos presentaron 22,3 y 58,5 veces (IC95%: 6,7 a 74,1 y 6,8 a 502,6, respectivamente) mayor probabilidad de fumar que los que informaron no haber consumido alcohol. Otros factores de riesgo adicionales fueron haber participado en una pelea física, haber portado un arma, haber tenido relaciones sexuales y haber tomado alguna droga ilícita durante los 30 días anteriores. CONCLUSIONES: Debido a que los adolescentes que fuman tienden también a incurrir en otras conductas de riesgo, los padres, los responsables escolares y los educadores sanitarios podrían utilizar el hábito de fumar para identificar a los adolescentes en riesgo. Las intervenciones dirigidas a adolescentes bolivianos deben enfocarse en la prevención del consumo de cigarrillos y de las conductas de riesgo asociadas. <![CDATA[<B>Nutritional status of urban schoolchildren of high and low socioeconomic status in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892007000800003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJECTIVE: The prevalence of overweight and obesity is growing in children in many developing countries, increasing chronic disease risk. Our objective was to assess the prevalence of stunting, underweight, overweight, and obesity in schoolchildren 8 to 10 years old who were of high or low socioeconomic status (SES) in Quetzaltenango, which is the second largest city in Guatemala METHODS: Between April and June 2005 we conducted a cross-sectional survey among 583 children in private and public elementary schools, in which we measured height and weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2000 height-for-age z-scores, weight-for-age z-scores, and body mass index-for-age centiles were used to define stunting, underweight, overweight, and obesity. RESULTS: Mean height, weight, and body mass index were significantly higher in the 327 children of high SES than in the 256 children of low SES, across sexes and age groups. The prevalence of stunting was significantly higher in low-SES children than in high-SES ones (27.0% vs. 7.3%, P < 0.01) , and this was also true for underweight (14.1% versus 4.6%, P < 0.01). In contrast, the prevalence of overweight (17.7% versus 10.5%, P < 0.01) was higher in high-SES children than in low-SES ones; the same was true for obesity (14.4% versus 2.3%, P < 0.01). The prevalence of stunting among children of low SES, and the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children of high SES far exceeded the CDC 2000 reference ranges. CONCLUSIONS: A high prevalence of both stunting and excess body weight was found in this urban Guatemalan population, with notable contrasts between social classes. The obesity among high-income children indicates that the city is undergoing the nutrition transition, with further implications for future risks related to chronic disease. Nutrition and health interventions are needed to reduce these risks.<hr/>OBJETIVO: En muchos países en desarrollo se elevan las prevalencias de sobrepeso y de obesidad en niños, con el incremento del riesgo de enfermedades crónicas. El objetivo de este trabajo fue evaluar las prevalencias de retraso en el crecimiento, peso bajo, sobrepeso y obesidad en escolares de 8 a 10 años de edad de niveles socioeconómicos (NSE) alto o bajo en Quetzaltenango, la segunda mayor ciudad de Guatemala. MÉTODOS: Se realizó un estudio transversal entre abril y junio de 2005 en el que se midió el peso y la talla de 583 niños de escuelas primarias privadas y públicas. Para evaluar el retraso en el crecimiento, el peso bajo, el sobrepeso y la obesidad se utilizaron como referencias las puntuaciones z de la talla para la edad y del peso para la edad y los centiles de los índices de masa corporal para la edad, propuestos por los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de las Enfermedades (CDC) de los Estados Unidos de América en 2000. RESULTADOS: La talla, el peso y el índice de masa corporal medios fueron significativamente mayores en los 327 niños de NSE alto que en los 256 niños de NSE bajo en todos los grupos de edad y sexo. La prevalencia de retraso en el crecimiento fue significativamente mayor en los niños con NSE bajo que en los de NSE alto (27,0% frente a 7,3%; P < 0,01), al igual que la prevalencia de peso bajo (14,1% frente a 4,6%, P < 0,01). En contraste, la prevalencia de sobrepeso fue mayor en los niños con NSE alto que en los de NSE bajo (17,7% frente a 10,5%, P < 0,01), al igual que la prevalencia de obesidad (14,4% frente a 2,3%, P < 0,01). Las prevalencias de retraso en el crecimiento en los niños de NSE bajo y de sobrepeso y obesidad en los de NSE alto fueron mucho mayores que las referencias establecidas por los CDC en el año 2000. CONCLUSIONES: Se encontraron elevadas prevalencias de retraso en el crecimiento y de peso corporal excesivo en esta población urbana de Guatemala, con notables contrastes entre las clases sociales. La obesidad en los niños de familias con ingresos elevados indica que la ciudad está experimentando la transición nutricional, con las implicaciones que con lleva para los riesgos de enfermedades crónicas en el futuro. Se requieren intervenciones nutricionales y de salud para reducir esos riesgos. <![CDATA[<B>Epidemiological potential of multiple-cause-of-death data listed on death certificates, Brazil, 2003</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892007000800004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVO: Avaliar o processamento automático e o potencial epidemiológico da utilização das causas múltiplas de morte por meio de suas menções nas declarações de óbito no Brasil em 2003. MÉTODOS: Os óbitos estudados provieram do banco de dados do Sistema de Informação sobre Mortalidade. A distribuição do número de causas informadas por declaração de óbito foi processada pelo Tabulador de Causas Múltiplas e descrita por meio de porcentagens em relação aos totais de óbitos nas unidades da federação, nas regiões e no País. Para as principais causas identificadas no Brasil em 2003, calculou-se a proporção de ocorrência de cada uma delas como causa como básica em relação ao número total de vezes que foi mencionada. RESULTADOS: O número médio de causas por declaração de óbito variou de 2,07 no Estado do Maranhão a 3,15 no Estado de São Paulo; entre as regiões, esse número variou de 2,45 no Nordeste até 2,99 no Centro-Oeste. Para o Brasil, o número médio de causas por declaração de óbito foi 2,81. As causas externas e as neoplasias, a morte sem assistência, as doenças pelo vírus da imunodeficiência humana (HIV) e a doença alcoólica do fígado apareceram como causa básica em mais de 90% das vezes em que foram mencionadas; as neoplasias, a doença de Chagas, as malformações congênitas, as doenças isquêmicas do coração e as doenças cerebrovasculares, entre 70 e menos de 90% das menções; e as pneumonias, a insuficiência cardíaca, o alcoolismo, a desnutrição, as doenças hipertensivas, as anemias, as causas mal definidas, a prematuridade, as septicemias e a insuficiência respiratória, em menos de 40%. Conclusões. Embora a causa básica de morte continue a ser essencial para a análise de tendências históricas, para a comparabilidade entre países e para orientar a prevenção da morte, a metodologia das causas múltiplas permite vislumbrar uma nova dimensão no estudo da mortalidade. A combinação das duas metodologias é mais útil do que o uso de uma delas isoladamente.<hr/>OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the automated processing and the epidemiological potential of multiple-cause-of-death data listed on death certificates in Brazil in 2003. METHODS: Data were obtained from the Brazilian Mortality Information System. The distribution of the number of causes per death certificate was processed using the Multiple Cause of Death Tabulator software and expressed as a percentage of the total deaths in federation units, regions, and in the country as a whole. For the main causes of death identified in Brazil in 2003, we calculated the rate at which each cause was listed as the "underlying cause of death" in relation to the total times the cause was mentioned. RESULTS: The mean number of causes of death per certificate ranged from 2.07 in the state of Maranhão to 3.15 in the state of São Paulo, and from 2.45 in the Northeast to 2.99 in the Mid-West. For the entire country, the mean number of causes of death per certificate was 2.81. External causes and neoplasms, unattended deaths, human immunodeficiency virus, and alcoholic liver disease were listed as the underlying cause more than 90% of the times they were mentioned; neoplasms, Chagas’ disease, congenital malformations, ischemic heart diseases, and cerebrovascular diseases, between 70% to less than 90% of the times they were mentioned; and pneumonias, heart failure, alcohol dependence, malnutrition, hypertensive diseases, anemias, ill-defined causes, prematurity, septicemias, and respiratory failure, less than 40% of the times they were mentioned. CONCLUSIONS: Although underlying causes of death are still essential to analyze historical trends, compare countries, and to guide the prevention of death, multiple-cause-of-death-data offer a new insight into the study of mortality. The combination of the two methodologies is more useful than the isolated use of either approach. <![CDATA[<B>A community-based education program about cervical cancer improves knowledge and screening behavior in Honduran women</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892007000800005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJECTIVES: This study examined changes in knowledge and behavior after a community-based cervical cancer education program in Honduras. METHODS: The program consisted of radio broadcasts targeting rural women and presentations to community nurses. The effectiveness of the radio broadcasts was assessed using a cross-sectional design (control groups n = 124, n = 243; intervention group n = 233). A pre-/ post-test design was used to evaluate the nurses’ training program (n = 32). A subset of nurses (n = 16) was retested two years later. Evaluation included t tests, chi-square and Fisher exact analyses. RESULTS: The radio broadcast increased the proportion of women who were familiar with the term "cervical cancer," who could identify means of preventing cervical cancer, and who understood the purpose of the Pap smear. In addition, older and under-screened women were successfully recruited for screening via radio. The nurses’ program improved understanding of the correct use of the Pap smear, the age-related risk of dysplasia, and the proper triage of abnormal results. The nurses retained a significant amount of knowledge two years after this training. CONCLUSIONS: In developing countries, inexpensive, community-based educational programs using radio broadcasts and lecture presentations can increase cervical cancer knowledge and improve screening behavior.<hr/>OBJETIVOS: Examinar los cambios ocurridos en el conocimiento sobre el cáncer cervicouterino y el comportamiento ante el tamizaje después de un programa educacional basado en la comunidad en Honduras. MÉTODOS: El programa consistió en transmisiones radiales dirigidas a mujeres de zonas rurales y conferencias a enfermeros de la comunidad. La eficacia de las transmisiones radiales se evaluó mediante un diseño transversal (grupos de control: n = 124 y n = 243; grupo de intervención: n = 233). Se utilizó una prueba previa y otra posterior para evaluar el programa de entrenamiento de enfermeros (n = 32). Después de dos años se repitió la prueba a un subgrupo de enfermeros (n = 16). Se emplearon las pruebas exacta de Fisher, de la t de Student y de la ji al cuadrado. RESULTADOS: Las transmisiones radiales elevaron la proporción de mujeres familiarizadas con el término "cáncer cervicouterino", que podían identificar las vías para prevenir el cáncer cervicouterino y que comprendían los objetivos de la prueba de Papanicolau. Además, mediante el radio se reclutaron exitosamente para tamizar más mujeres de los grupos de mayor edad y menos tamizadas. Con el programa para enfermeros se mejoró la comprensión del uso correcto de la prueba de Papanicolau, del riego relativo de displasia según la edad y de la conducta apropiada a seguir ante resultados alterados. Los enfermeros retenían una cantidad importante de conocimientos dos años después del entrenamiento. CONCLUSIONES: En los países en desarrollo, el empleo de programas educacionales poco costosos basados en la comunidad mediante transmisiones radiales y conferencias puede elevar el conocimiento sobre el cáncer cervicouterino y mejorar el comportamiento ante el tamizaje. <![CDATA[<B>Nutritional status and body composition of poor children in the outlying neighborhoods of La Plata, Argentina</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892007000800006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVOS: Evaluar el estado nutricional y la composición corporal, como indicadores de la calidad de vida, en niños pobres que concurren a comedores comunitarios de La Plata, Argentina. MÉTODOS: Se realizó un estudio transversal entre abril y noviembre de 2004 con 608 niños y niñas sanos de 1 a 11 años de edad que asistían a dos comedores barriales ubicados en la periferia de la ciudad de La Plata, Argentina. La muestra se estratificó según la edad y el sexo de los participantes. Se determinó la talla para la edad, el peso para la edad y el peso para la talla, así como el índice de masa corporal, el área muscular y el área adiposa. Los datos se transformaron a puntuaciones z. Se calcularon la razón de posibilidades (odds ratio) y sus respectivos intervalos de confianza de 95%. RESULTADOS: La prevalencia de peso bajo para la edad fue de 9,0%, la de peso bajo para la talla fue de 3,0% y la de talla baja para la edad de 15,0%. Las prevalencias de sobrepeso y obesidad fueron de 12,5% y 7,1%, respectivamente. En esta población, 47,2% presentó déficit de masa muscular y 20,4% tenía déficit de masa adiposa. En los niños con sobrepeso y obesidad, el área adiposa fue 34,3% mayor que la de la población de referencia; en contraste, el área muscular fue 12,5% menor. CONCLUSIONES: En las comunidades infantiles estudiadas coexisten la desnutrición y el sobrepeso. La elevada prevalencia de retraso en el crecimiento (talla baja para la edad) y desnutrición global (peso bajo para la edad) y la grave reducción de la masa muscular, aun en niños con sobrepeso u obesidad, parecen ser consecuencias de un proceso adaptativo inevitable frente a las condiciones adversas de vida.<hr/>OBJECTIVES: To evaluate nutritional status and body composition as indicators of quality of life among poor children served by neighborhood soup kitchens in La Plata, Argentina. METHODS: From April to November 2004, we conducted a cross-sectional study of 608 healthy children from 1-11 years of age who were being served by two neighborhood soup kitchens in the outlying areas of the city of La Plata. The sample was stratified by age and sex. Height-for-age, weight-for age, and weight-for-height, were measured, as well as BMI, muscle mass and adipose tissue. Z-scores were computed for the data. Odds ratios and the respective 95% confidence intervals were calculated. RESULTS: Prevalence of low weight-for-age was 9%; low weight-for-height, 3%; and low height-for-age, 15%. The prevalence of overweight and obesity were 12.5% and 7.1%, respectively. Among the study sample, 47.2% had low muscle mass and 20.4% had low adipose tissue. Among overweight and obese children, adipose tissue was 34.3% higher than that of the reference population, while muscle mass was 12.5% lower. CONCLUSIONS: Undernutrition and obesity are both found among the community of children studied. The high prevalence of delayed growth (i.e., low height-for-age), undernutrition (i.e., low weight-for-age), and the acute lack of muscle mass even among overweight and obese children, seem to be part of the consequences of an inevitable process that unfolds in the face of adverse living conditions. <![CDATA[<B>Community-directed risk assessment of mercury exposure from gold mining in Suriname</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892007000800007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJECTIVES: The overarching objective of this project was to support the indigenous people in Kwakoegron, Suriname, in self-diagnosis of public and environmental health problems. The specific objectives, defined by the people of Kwakoegron were: (1) to determine for themselves if they are at risk of exposure to mercury (Hg) contamination, (2) to measure the extent of the Hg contamination problem, and (3) to initiate an intervention plan. METHODS: Field work was conducted from June 2005 to April 2006. Community members were trained to collect hair samples for analysis using methods designed to maximize sample quality and consistency and minimize cross-contamination. Each hair sample, of approximately 20 mg, was weighed, added to the sample boat, and analyzed immediately without preservation or storage. Technicians educated in analytical chemistry and trained in the operation of the portable Lumex Zeeman Hg analyzer measured the total Hg (THg) for each hair sample. Confidential meetings were held with each person sampled and any questions were answered. Afterwards, a community meeting was held to reflect on the process, outcome, and future needs. RESULTS: Hair samples from 16 of the 22 participants had Hg levels of 2.2-20.2 µg/g THg, exceeding normal THg levels for hair (2 µg/g THg). During the confidential, individual meetings and the followup community meeting, information was shared regarding the Hg levels found, what the numbers meant scientifically, what the potential health effects could be, and how exposure levels might be brought down. At the conclusion of the followup meeting, the Kwakoegron community proposed an intervention plan that had three principle parts: (1) routine analysis of Hg exposure to monitor trends and track the effects of exposure-reduction efforts; (2) routine health assessments to determine the effects of Hg exposure, particularly in children less than 5 years of age; and (3) fish advisories based on fish biology and trophic level or on the specific measurement of Hg levels in various fish species from various locations and different times throughout the year. CONCLUSIONS: This project showed that a democratic approach to science does not automatically compromise the orderly search for answers. Specifically, our experience in Kwakoegron suggests that the collaborative relationship that emerges by empowering an indigenous community to initiate its own research projects, and address the needs it identifies, can contribute positively to the risk assessment process. This project showed that when Kwakoegron was acknowledged as an equal partner, the risk assessment process led to an open exchange of information and an intervention plan that was both pragmatic and acceptable in the context of the community’s unique social and cultural needs.<hr/>OBJETIVOS: El objetivo central de este proyecto fue apoyar al pueblo indígena de Kwakoegron, Suriname, a hacer su propio diagnóstico de los problemas de salud pública y ambiental. Los objetivos específicos, definidos por la población de Kwakoegron fueron: 1) determinar por sí mismos si están en riesgo de exposición a la contaminación por mercurio (Hg), 2) medir la magnitud del problema de la contaminación con Hg, y 3) comenzar un plan de intervención. MÉTODOS: El trabajo de campo se realizó entre junio de 2005 y abril de 2006. Se entrenó a miembros de la comunidad para tomar muestras de pelo para el análisis mediante métodos diseñados para optimizar la calidad y la consistencia de la muestra y minimizar la contaminación cruzada. Cada muestra de pelo, de aproximadamente 20 mg, se pesó, se colocó en el bote de muestras y se analizó inmediatamente sin conservar o almacenar. Un técnico en química analítica entrenado en la operación del analizador portátil de Hg de Lumex Zeeman midió el Hg total (THg) de cada muestra de pelo. Se realizaron conversaciones confidenciales con cada persona muestreada y se respondieron sus dudas. Luego se realizó una reunión con la comunidad para exponer el proceso, los resultados y las necesidades futuras. RESULTADOS: Las muestras de 16 de los 22 participantes tenían niveles de THg de 2,2-20,2 mg/g, superiores a los niveles normales de THg en pelo (2 mg/g). En las conversaciones confidenciales individuales y en la reunión de seguimiento con la comunidad, se informó sobre los niveles de Hg encontrados, su significado desde el punto de vista científico, los posibles efectos para la salud y cómo se pueden reducir los niveles de exposición. En las conclusiones de la reunión de seguimiento, la comunidad de Kwakoegron propuso un plan de intervención que contaba con tres partes principales: 1) análisis periódicos de la exposición al Hg para monitorear la tendencia y los esfuerzos hechos para reducir la exposición; 2) evaluaciones periódicas del estado de salud para determinar los efectos de la exposición al Hg, particularmente en los niños menores de 5 años de edad; y 3) asesoría pesquera basada en la biología y el nivel trófico o en las mediciones específicas de los niveles de Hg en varias especies de peces de diferentes localidades a lo largo del año. CONCLUSIONES: Este proyecto demostró que un enfoque democrático en la ciencia no compromete automáticamente la búsqueda ordenada de respuestas. En particular, esta experiencia en Kwakoegron indica que las relaciones de colaboración que surgen al empoderar a una comunidad indígena para que emprenda sus propios proyectos investigativos y responda a las necesidades que ella misma identifica pueden contribuir positivamente al proceso de evaluación de riesgos. Este proyecto demostró que cuando se reconoció a la comunidad de Kwakoegron como socio igualitario, el proceso de evaluación de riesgos llevó a un abierto intercambio de información y a un plan de intervención pragmático y aceptable en el contexto de las necesidades sociales y culturales muy particulares de esta comunidad. <![CDATA[<B>Old indicators for new problems</B>: <B>the relationship between sanitation and health</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892007000800008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVO: Revisar a literatura publicada entre 1995 e 2004 acerca da relação entre saneamento e saúde e levantar as principais variáveis analisadas e as doenças ou agravos usados como marcadores de efeito ou de risco ambiental. MÉTODO: Realizou-se uma busca nas bases de dados Medline, SciELO e LILACS utilizando os termos "sanitation" e "health" e "indicator" e "water" (saneamento, saúde, indicador e água). Foram identificados 103 artigos, sendo que 17 foram considerados pertinentes à análise proposta. Foram identificados, para cada artigo, o desenho do estudo e as variáveis de saúde e de saneamento avaliadas. RESULTADOS: O desenho ecológico foi o mais freqüente, tendo sido utilizado em sete dos 17 estudos. A maioria dos artigos enfocava a diarréia como variável de saúde (10 estudos) e a qualidade da água como variável de saneamento (10 estudos). Em 15 estudos foi observada uma associação positiva entre a variável de saúde e a variável de saneamento investigadas. CONCLUSÕES: Ainda restam muitas lacunas no entendimento do saneamento e de seu papel, principalmente nos grandes centros urbanos, onde a dependência dos sistemas de água e esgotamento sanitário é muito grande, não existindo, na maioria das vezes, fontes alternativas de abastecimento. Os estudos ecológicos construídos a partir de dados secundários e os inquéritos específicos têm se destacado como uma boa opção para análises envolvendo as relações entre condições de saneamento e saúde.<hr/>OBJECTIVE: To review the literature published from 1995-2004 on the relationship between sanitation and health and to identify the main variables analyzed and the diseases or injuries used as markers of effect or environmental health. METHOD: A search of Medline, SciELO, and LILACS on "sanitation" and "health" and "indicator" and "water" produced 103 articles, 17 of which were considered relevant for the analysis. We identified the study design and the sanitation and health variables analyzed in each of the 17 studies. RESULTS: The most common study design was ecological and was employed in seven of the 17 studies. In most (10 studies), the health variable was diarrhea and sanitation variable was water quality. Fifteen studies reported a positive association between the health and sanitation variables. CONCLUSIONS: There are still many gaps in our understanding of sanitation and its role, especially in large urban centers that are dependent on water and sewerage systems and often lack alternative water sources. Ecological studies based on secondary data and specific surveys have been shown to be a good option for analyses correlating sanitation and health. <![CDATA[<B>Inmunopatogenia del dengue hemorrágico-síndrome de choque por dengue</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892007000800009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVO: Revisar a literatura publicada entre 1995 e 2004 acerca da relação entre saneamento e saúde e levantar as principais variáveis analisadas e as doenças ou agravos usados como marcadores de efeito ou de risco ambiental. MÉTODO: Realizou-se uma busca nas bases de dados Medline, SciELO e LILACS utilizando os termos "sanitation" e "health" e "indicator" e "water" (saneamento, saúde, indicador e água). Foram identificados 103 artigos, sendo que 17 foram considerados pertinentes à análise proposta. Foram identificados, para cada artigo, o desenho do estudo e as variáveis de saúde e de saneamento avaliadas. RESULTADOS: O desenho ecológico foi o mais freqüente, tendo sido utilizado em sete dos 17 estudos. A maioria dos artigos enfocava a diarréia como variável de saúde (10 estudos) e a qualidade da água como variável de saneamento (10 estudos). Em 15 estudos foi observada uma associação positiva entre a variável de saúde e a variável de saneamento investigadas. CONCLUSÕES: Ainda restam muitas lacunas no entendimento do saneamento e de seu papel, principalmente nos grandes centros urbanos, onde a dependência dos sistemas de água e esgotamento sanitário é muito grande, não existindo, na maioria das vezes, fontes alternativas de abastecimento. Os estudos ecológicos construídos a partir de dados secundários e os inquéritos específicos têm se destacado como uma boa opção para análises envolvendo as relações entre condições de saneamento e saúde.<hr/>OBJECTIVE: To review the literature published from 1995-2004 on the relationship between sanitation and health and to identify the main variables analyzed and the diseases or injuries used as markers of effect or environmental health. METHOD: A search of Medline, SciELO, and LILACS on "sanitation" and "health" and "indicator" and "water" produced 103 articles, 17 of which were considered relevant for the analysis. We identified the study design and the sanitation and health variables analyzed in each of the 17 studies. RESULTS: The most common study design was ecological and was employed in seven of the 17 studies. In most (10 studies), the health variable was diarrhea and sanitation variable was water quality. Fifteen studies reported a positive association between the health and sanitation variables. CONCLUSIONS: There are still many gaps in our understanding of sanitation and its role, especially in large urban centers that are dependent on water and sewerage systems and often lack alternative water sources. Ecological studies based on secondary data and specific surveys have been shown to be a good option for analyses correlating sanitation and health. <![CDATA[<B>Cómo manejar el cese de fumar</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892007000800010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVO: Revisar a literatura publicada entre 1995 e 2004 acerca da relação entre saneamento e saúde e levantar as principais variáveis analisadas e as doenças ou agravos usados como marcadores de efeito ou de risco ambiental. MÉTODO: Realizou-se uma busca nas bases de dados Medline, SciELO e LILACS utilizando os termos "sanitation" e "health" e "indicator" e "water" (saneamento, saúde, indicador e água). Foram identificados 103 artigos, sendo que 17 foram considerados pertinentes à análise proposta. Foram identificados, para cada artigo, o desenho do estudo e as variáveis de saúde e de saneamento avaliadas. RESULTADOS: O desenho ecológico foi o mais freqüente, tendo sido utilizado em sete dos 17 estudos. A maioria dos artigos enfocava a diarréia como variável de saúde (10 estudos) e a qualidade da água como variável de saneamento (10 estudos). Em 15 estudos foi observada uma associação positiva entre a variável de saúde e a variável de saneamento investigadas. CONCLUSÕES: Ainda restam muitas lacunas no entendimento do saneamento e de seu papel, principalmente nos grandes centros urbanos, onde a dependência dos sistemas de água e esgotamento sanitário é muito grande, não existindo, na maioria das vezes, fontes alternativas de abastecimento. Os estudos ecológicos construídos a partir de dados secundários e os inquéritos específicos têm se destacado como uma boa opção para análises envolvendo as relações entre condições de saneamento e saúde.<hr/>OBJECTIVE: To review the literature published from 1995-2004 on the relationship between sanitation and health and to identify the main variables analyzed and the diseases or injuries used as markers of effect or environmental health. METHOD: A search of Medline, SciELO, and LILACS on "sanitation" and "health" and "indicator" and "water" produced 103 articles, 17 of which were considered relevant for the analysis. We identified the study design and the sanitation and health variables analyzed in each of the 17 studies. RESULTS: The most common study design was ecological and was employed in seven of the 17 studies. In most (10 studies), the health variable was diarrhea and sanitation variable was water quality. Fifteen studies reported a positive association between the health and sanitation variables. CONCLUSIONS: There are still many gaps in our understanding of sanitation and its role, especially in large urban centers that are dependent on water and sewerage systems and often lack alternative water sources. Ecological studies based on secondary data and specific surveys have been shown to be a good option for analyses correlating sanitation and health. <![CDATA[<B>Relación entre el capital social y el consumo de alcohol, tabaco y drogas</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892007000800011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVO: Revisar a literatura publicada entre 1995 e 2004 acerca da relação entre saneamento e saúde e levantar as principais variáveis analisadas e as doenças ou agravos usados como marcadores de efeito ou de risco ambiental. MÉTODO: Realizou-se uma busca nas bases de dados Medline, SciELO e LILACS utilizando os termos "sanitation" e "health" e "indicator" e "water" (saneamento, saúde, indicador e água). Foram identificados 103 artigos, sendo que 17 foram considerados pertinentes à análise proposta. Foram identificados, para cada artigo, o desenho do estudo e as variáveis de saúde e de saneamento avaliadas. RESULTADOS: O desenho ecológico foi o mais freqüente, tendo sido utilizado em sete dos 17 estudos. A maioria dos artigos enfocava a diarréia como variável de saúde (10 estudos) e a qualidade da água como variável de saneamento (10 estudos). Em 15 estudos foi observada uma associação positiva entre a variável de saúde e a variável de saneamento investigadas. CONCLUSÕES: Ainda restam muitas lacunas no entendimento do saneamento e de seu papel, principalmente nos grandes centros urbanos, onde a dependência dos sistemas de água e esgotamento sanitário é muito grande, não existindo, na maioria das vezes, fontes alternativas de abastecimento. Os estudos ecológicos construídos a partir de dados secundários e os inquéritos específicos têm se destacado como uma boa opção para análises envolvendo as relações entre condições de saneamento e saúde.<hr/>OBJECTIVE: To review the literature published from 1995-2004 on the relationship between sanitation and health and to identify the main variables analyzed and the diseases or injuries used as markers of effect or environmental health. METHOD: A search of Medline, SciELO, and LILACS on "sanitation" and "health" and "indicator" and "water" produced 103 articles, 17 of which were considered relevant for the analysis. We identified the study design and the sanitation and health variables analyzed in each of the 17 studies. RESULTS: The most common study design was ecological and was employed in seven of the 17 studies. In most (10 studies), the health variable was diarrhea and sanitation variable was water quality. Fifteen studies reported a positive association between the health and sanitation variables. CONCLUSIONS: There are still many gaps in our understanding of sanitation and its role, especially in large urban centers that are dependent on water and sewerage systems and often lack alternative water sources. Ecological studies based on secondary data and specific surveys have been shown to be a good option for analyses correlating sanitation and health. <![CDATA[<B>La atención de niños maltratados y fallas en el manejo de casos</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892007000800012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVO: Revisar a literatura publicada entre 1995 e 2004 acerca da relação entre saneamento e saúde e levantar as principais variáveis analisadas e as doenças ou agravos usados como marcadores de efeito ou de risco ambiental. MÉTODO: Realizou-se uma busca nas bases de dados Medline, SciELO e LILACS utilizando os termos "sanitation" e "health" e "indicator" e "water" (saneamento, saúde, indicador e água). Foram identificados 103 artigos, sendo que 17 foram considerados pertinentes à análise proposta. Foram identificados, para cada artigo, o desenho do estudo e as variáveis de saúde e de saneamento avaliadas. RESULTADOS: O desenho ecológico foi o mais freqüente, tendo sido utilizado em sete dos 17 estudos. A maioria dos artigos enfocava a diarréia como variável de saúde (10 estudos) e a qualidade da água como variável de saneamento (10 estudos). Em 15 estudos foi observada uma associação positiva entre a variável de saúde e a variável de saneamento investigadas. CONCLUSÕES: Ainda restam muitas lacunas no entendimento do saneamento e de seu papel, principalmente nos grandes centros urbanos, onde a dependência dos sistemas de água e esgotamento sanitário é muito grande, não existindo, na maioria das vezes, fontes alternativas de abastecimento. Os estudos ecológicos construídos a partir de dados secundários e os inquéritos específicos têm se destacado como uma boa opção para análises envolvendo as relações entre condições de saneamento e saúde.<hr/>OBJECTIVE: To review the literature published from 1995-2004 on the relationship between sanitation and health and to identify the main variables analyzed and the diseases or injuries used as markers of effect or environmental health. METHOD: A search of Medline, SciELO, and LILACS on "sanitation" and "health" and "indicator" and "water" produced 103 articles, 17 of which were considered relevant for the analysis. We identified the study design and the sanitation and health variables analyzed in each of the 17 studies. RESULTS: The most common study design was ecological and was employed in seven of the 17 studies. In most (10 studies), the health variable was diarrhea and sanitation variable was water quality. Fifteen studies reported a positive association between the health and sanitation variables. CONCLUSIONS: There are still many gaps in our understanding of sanitation and its role, especially in large urban centers that are dependent on water and sewerage systems and often lack alternative water sources. Ecological studies based on secondary data and specific surveys have been shown to be a good option for analyses correlating sanitation and health.