COVID-19 testing experience among users of primary health care in communities with high socioeconomic vulnerability in northeast brazil
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State University of Bahia - UNEB Av Silveira Martins, 2555. Cabula. Salvador/Bahia/Brazil
Federal University of Bahia
Federal University of Bahia Av Basilio da Gama, 62. Canela. Salvador/Bahia/Brazil
Federal University of Bahia Brazil
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A430
Background and objective:
We aimed to understand the testing experience for COVID-19 (C19) among users of Primary Health Care (PHC) located in communities with high socioeconomic vulnerability in a northeastern Brazilian capital. Within the PHC model, Brazil launched the Family Health Program (FHP) in 1994, which provides a broad range of primary care services.

This is the formative research component of an intervention study to expand the testing and monitoring of C19. A qualitative approach carried out between December/21-February/22 was used to evaluate the C19 testing experience. Seventy semi-structured interviews were conducted with PHC users. The interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed through thematic content analysis.

Of the 70 interviews, 32 were conducted in Basic Health Units and 38 in units of the FHP. The age range was 19 to 82 years old; 62(88.6%) females and 8(11.4%) males; 47.1% of mixed race, 47.1% blacks. Only 21.4% were employed, 14.3% were retired, 27.1% did not work and 21.4% were unemployed. 31 users (44.3%) received social protection benefits (93.5% a cash transfer program or the pandemic emergency aid). Users reported barriers to accessing health services and C19 testing in PHC units during the pandemic. The reported difficulties were a limited number of tests in PHC units, long waiting time, and difficulty to access the test results. Nevertheless, almost all (69) were able to test in expanding testing options provided by the National Health System.

Based on the formative research results an intervention was developed for PHC in two Brazilian capitals, to respond to the barriers to accessing C19 testing. The proposed intervention seeks to expand testing; surveillance strategies, a digital platform with a real-time situation panel, availability of test results, telemonitoring and user tracking, health education material, and prevention strategies for C19.

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