Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
MERCADO MARTINEZ, Francisco J.; RAMOS HERRERA, Igor M. and VALDEZ CURIEL, Enriqueta. Perspectives of chronically ill patients concerning medical care in Guadalajara, Mexico. A qualitative study. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2000, vol.16, n.3, pp. 759-772. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2000000300024.
This paper reports partial findings from a broader study on the experience of people with chronic diseases. The objective was to explore the perspectives of diabetic patients towards medical care. A qualitative study was conducted in a poor neighborhood of Guadalajara, Mexico. Thirty subjects with diabetes mellitus participated in the study. Data was gathered by open and semi-open interviews in the subjects' homes and over the course of one year. Data were analyzed using a combination of content and conversational analyzing techniques. Three perspectives predominated when participants evaluated medical care: some define it as good, some as ambivalent, and the rest as bad. These perspectives were closely linked to their disease experience and available medical options according to their material resources. These perspectives change with time, are specific to each available service and type of medical care, and are constructed in terms of all the subjects' present chronic illnesses. Those treated through the social security system evaluate the care in negative terms, with the opposite occurring with those treated in public health care centers and private facilities. Implications regarding health care reform are discussed.
Keywords : Patients; Chronic Diseases; Health Services.