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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


MATTEVI, Betina S.; BREDEMEIER, Juliana; FAM, Cláudia  and  FLECK, Marcelo P.. Quality of care, quality of life, and attitudes toward disabilities: perspectives from a qualitative focus group study in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.31, n.3, pp.188-196. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the concepts of quality of life (QOL), quality of care (QOC), and attitudes toward disabilities in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from the perspective of people living with disabilities, including their relatives and caregivers. METHODS: This was a qualitative study that interviewed a total of 23 participants in five focus groups, during May-August 2006. After an open discussion about QOL, the WHOQOL-Bref, a generic questionnaire for the assessment of QOL, was presented to participants. The study was performed simultaneously in 15 international centers. Analysis was based on Bardin's content analysis. RESULTS: Regarding QOL, important themes that emerged were: work, education, leisure, universal accessibility, integration in the society, and social inclusion. Concerning QOC, professional qualifications, disabilities-related training for health and education professionals, and access to health services were considered important. Regarding attitudes toward disabilities, the participants perceived the attitudes of others, especially of caregivers, to significantly impact the QOL of people with disabilities. CONCLUSIONS: People living with disabilities value many of the same themes considered important by the general public; however, several additional themes specific to disabilities and specific to these groups of participants emerged. This information highlights the importance of taking into account the unique perceptions and cultural traits of the target population when measuring QOL, QOC, and attitudes toward disabilities.

Keywords : Disabled persons; quality of life; quality of health care; attitude to health; focus groups; qualitative research; Brazil.

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