Analysis of the Action Strategies of the Brazilian National Health Policy of the Elderly from the Perspective of Nurses
Introduction: Increase of the elderly population, which is a characteristic of developed countries, also occurs in developing countries in a fastest way. Changes in the demographic profile reflect changes in the epidemiological profile of the population, and they require the applicability of public policies such as the Brazilian National Health Policy of the Elderly, which enable the priority for structuration of services and programs encompassing emergent demands Objective: analyze the action strategies of the Brazilian National Health Policy of the Elderly from the perspective of nurses. Method: This is a cross-sectional study of quantitative and qualitative approaches, performed with nurses from the teams of the Family Health Strategy (FHS), situated in the urban area of the city of Juazeiro do Norte, Ceara, Brazil, from March to April of 2015. Variables of both nurses (sex, age, time of professional formation, and time of experience) and dichotomous (developed strategies in the teams) were extracted from the questionnaire for Evaluation of Quality Improvement of the Family Health Strategy, modified from the Self-Assessment Notebooks 4 and 5, regarding the health of the elderly in session II, from the Brazilian Ministry of Health. Data were presented in tables as speeches and as absolute and relative frequency. Results: From the 16 nurses, 87.5% developed health promotion actions; 75% promoted educational activities addressing the statute of the elderly; 62.5% kept the registry of the elderly updated; 93.7% have ensured that 80% or more of their elderly patients were with updated vaccination; 81.3% and 68.8% answered that the oral examination and monitoring of oral health, respectively, are not established as routine activities. 75% did not conduct the examination of the body surface as a routine work; 75% said they promoted training for family caregivers, and 68.7% did not perform interventions for early detection of dementia. Although they pointed having performed health-promoting practices, when they described the performed and discussed actions with the elderly people, they were limited to medication delivery, to preferences in access to health care services, and to the rights of the elderly. Conclusion: Most of the actions performed by nurses are linked to immunization and training educational activities. However, practices restricted to the transmission of information about specific policy issues and actions of curative nature have been identified, such as medication delivery, only. The applicability of the policy still represents a challenge regarding clinical interventions and maintenance of the updated registry of the elderly.
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