Health care strategies in long-term care facilities in Bahia State, Brazil

Meirelayne Borges Duarte, João Victor Nunes Freitas, Rafaela Andrade Correia, Mônica Huspel Frank, Helena Patáro de Oliveira Novaes, Janine Cardoso Soub, Diana Oliveira Noronha, Peter Lloyd-Sherlock

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OBJECTIVE: To describe health care strategies for older people living in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) in Bahia state, Brazil.
METHODS: This is an ecological study involving LTCFs identified in Bahia state, which were invited to participate in a survey conducted between April and June 2021. The variables of interest were LTCF characteristics, health care strategies, visits received from national public health system (SUS, in Portuguese) teams, and health care actions taken by SUS. A comparative analysis was performed between LTCFs located in the East macro-region and other parts of the state, in general and also stratified by funding type (private and non-private).
RESULTS: The sample consisted of 177 LTCFs, more than half of them were located in the East macro-region, seat of the state capital. Most facilities declared themselves as non-private (68%). Less than one-third of the LTCFs had their own health teams. Although 67% of LTCFs reported some health care provided by SUS, only 49% reported clinical consultations, with even lower percentages for other SUS actions, except for vaccination (91%). The East macro-region had a lower percentage of LTCFs accompanied by a SUS team, and the highest percentage of LTCFs with supplementary health insurance.
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows the limited access of LTCF residents to essential health services, due to a general neglect of this population by public health care providers. The inadequacy of public policies to support LTCFs has important consequences for the quality of care offered to residents.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0210054
JournalGeriatrics, Gerontology and Aging
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2021

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