Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
CARLOTTO, Kharen; CESAR, Juraci A.; HACKENHAAR, Arnildo A. and RIBEIRO, Paula R. P.. Reproductive characteristics and utilization of preventive health services by childbearing-age women: results of two cross-sectional population-based studies in the far South of Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.9, pp. 2054-2062. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2008000900011.
Two surveys were conducted (1995 and 2004) on women 15-49 years of age in Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul State, southern Brazil, assess patterns in their use of preventive health services. The sample included 1,339 women in 1995 and 1,311 in 2004. A standardized household questionnaire covered their demographic, socioeconomic, reproductive, and health care-utilization characteristics. The chi-square test was used to compare indicators in the two studies. During the study period, housing conditions, running water, sanitation, and schooling improved, but family income decreased. Mean age at sexual initiation decreased by one year, teenage pregnancy increased 33%, and clinical breast examination and Pap smears increased 48% and 30%, respectively. Overall use of contraceptive methods declined by 3%, but condom use increased from 8% to 21%. Efforts are needed to improve coverage for breast examination and Pap smears, postpone sexual initiation, and promote the use of contraceptive methods, especially condoms.
Keywords : Preventive Health Services; Women's Health; Health Status Indicatiors.