Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
SIQUEIRA, Fernando Vinholes; FACCHINI, Luiz Augusto and HALLAL, Pedro Curi. Epidemiology of physiotherapy utilization among adults and elderly. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.39, n.4, pp. 662-668. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102005000400022.
OBJECTIVE: To analyze the prevalence of physiotherapy utilization and to explore the variables associated to its utilization. METHODS: A population-based cross-sectional study, including 3,100 subjects aged 20 years or more living in the urban area of Pelotas, southern Brazil, was carried out. The sample was selected following a multiple-stage protocol; the census tracts delimited by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) were the primary sample units. Following descriptive and crude analyses, Poisson regression models taking the clustering of the sample into account were carried out. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews using a standardized and pre-tested questionnaire. RESULTS: The lifetime utilization of physiotherapy was 30.2%; and physiotherapy utilization in the 12 months prior to the interview was reported by 4.9%. Women, elderly subjects, and those from higher socioeconomic levels were more likely to use physiotherapy. Restricting analysis to subjects who attended physiotherapy, 66% used public health services, 25% used insurance health services and 9% had private sessions. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first population-based study on physiotherapy utilization carried out in Brazil. Utilization of physio therapy was lower than reported in both developed and developing countries. The study findings might help public health authorities to organize healthcare service in terms of this important demand.
Keywords : Physiotherapy; Health services [utilization]; Cross-sectional studies; Socio-economic factors; Educational status.