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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


BRONFMAN, Mario  and  GLEIZER, Marcela. Community participation: need, excuse, or strategy?What are we talking about when we refer to community participation?. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1994, vol.10, n.1, pp.111-122. ISSN 1678-4464.

This paper evaluates the strategy of including community participation in health care and health promotion programs, taking into account three dimensions: the pertinence of the practice, the characteristics of its implementation, and the rsults generated by it. After doing a critical review of the bibliography on the issue, we came to the conclusion that many heterogeneous programs are grouped under the term "community participation". This requires a specification of what king of community participation is being talked about. As a consequence, the study proposes a classification of the different practices grouped under this heading. The following criteria were used in the classification: 1) theoretical and ideological conceptions underlying the practice of community participation; 2) aspects to be implemented and subjects to be influenced by intervention; and 3) forms that community participation takes in practice. The study also analyzes the articulation between these three aspects. Finally, the role of social research and qualitative methodology in the implementation of community participation for health care programs is considered. The study also considers challenges that overall proposals must face in order for strategies to develop successfully, beyond their ifferences in cenception and implementation.

Keywords : Consumer Participation; Health Promotion.

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