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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


CARANDINA, Luana  and  MAGALDI, Cecília. Analysis of standards of living and health in the urban population of Botucatu, S.Paulo State (Brazil): II - The population's knowledge and opinion on disease symptoms, 1983. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1989, vol.23, n.3, pp.196-206. ISSN 1518-8787.

It was verified the extent of the information of the urban population of Botucatu, SP (Brazil) on health questions. Knowledge and opinions about frequency and severity of thirteen symptoms and signs of disease were researched in 1005 families sampled. The answers were analyzed according to age, sex, level of education and socio-economic level. They showed a tendency compatible with scientific medical knowledge. In the comparison of the sexes, by age, (young adult) women gave more value to the frequency and seventy of most of the symptoms than men. The high scores observed for severity showed a tendency to decrease with the increasing level of education for all the symptoms. There were variations among the symptoms in the appreciation of frequency according to the socio-economic level, with a tendency to a decrease in the high scores related to severity, according to the increase in socio-economic level. The degree of information observed in the population contradicts the prejudice, still existing in the medical area, about laymen's lack of knowledge. The hypothesis that the sample studied had access to several sources of information, among them the extensive local network of medical sevices, is put forward.

Keywords : Knowledge [attitudes, practices]; Disease (signs and symptoms); Health education; Attitude to health.

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