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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

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


TANAKA, Oswaldo Yoshimi  and  LAURIDSEN-RIBEIRO, Edith. A challenge for primary health care: mental health care implementation. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2006, vol.22, n.9, pp.1845-1853. ISSN 1678-4464.

The objective of this study was to evaluate mental health care provided within a primary health care setting. The study was conducted in a Primary Health Care Center (PHC) in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. A comparative study was made between pediatricians' diagnosis of mental health problems and those identified by the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) in children (5-11 years) from August to October 2000. Eleven pediatricians were interviewed for more in-depth analysis. The study analyzed 411 patient charts and held 206 interviews with the children's parents. Analysis of the resulting data shows that the pediatricians provided a diagnosis of mental health problems in 17.5% of the children examined. When compared with probable mental health problems identified by the CBCL, only 25.3% of the children were diagnosed by the physician as having mental health problems. Interviews with pediatricians identified difficulties in the definition and conceptualization of mental health problems, lack of organization in the referral system, and insufficient technical support.

Keywords : Primary Health Care; Mental Health; Child.

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