Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
CABRAL, Ana Lucia Lobo Vianna; MARTINEZ-HEMAEZ, Angel; ANDRADE, Eli Iola Gurgel and CHERCHIGLIA, Mariangela Leal. Therapeutic itineraries: state of the art of scientific production in Brazil . Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.11, pp. 4433-4442. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011001200016.
Knowledge about the itineraries of people seeking healthcare may contribute to our understanding of behavior in relation to healthcare and utilization of health services. In Brazil, however, despite their relevance there have been few studies into healthcare-seeking behavior and those available are relatively new and have not received the attention they deserve from health researchers and managers. This article presents the results of a survey of the Brazilian scientific literature on this subject published in the past 20 years, describing and analyzing the approaches used. Data were collected between September and November 2008 through the portal of the Virtual Health Library. The search located 11 articles and content analysis was used to generate categories. The majority of these studies are grounded in socio-anthropological theory, and the main focus of interest is the patient's perception of disease and treatment. Only a few of these publications address patients' access to and utilization of health services. It is argued that the study of healthcare-seeking behavior can be an important tool for improving the quality of healthcare.
Keywords : Anthropology; Helthcare-Seeking behavior; Accessibility of health services.