Equity in the Accessibility to Specialized Care in Oral Health in Brazil: Analysis of PMAQ-CEO External Evaluation Data According to the User's Perspective

Fernando José Herkrath, Pedro Henrique Duarte França de Castro, Nilcema Figueiredo, Janete Maria Rebelo-Vieira, Maria Augusta Bessa Rebelo


Objective: To analyze the distribution of Centers of Dental Specialties (CEO) implemented in Brazil until 2014 and identify the contextual and individual variables associated with the geographical accessibility, considering the user's perspective. Material and Methods: The study was conducted with data from the Improving Access and Quality of CEOs (AVE/PMAQ CEO) External Evaluation and contextual characteristics of states and municipalities. The AVE/PMAQ CEO was an evaluative research with cross-sectional observational character, performed in all CEOs in Brazil, with 932 services evaluated and 8,897 users interviewed. Data analysis was conducted in two stages, considering the study dimensions. Analyses were conducted on the availability of units by region, state, population size of the municipality and contextual variables. Then, the relationship between explanatory variables and the user's displacement time and with the intention to change the service location was evaluated using generalized linear regression analysis. Results: The 932 CEOs evaluated were located in 780 of the 5,570 municipalities of the country and the majority was located in the northeastern (38.3%) and southeastern regions (36.2%), with the northern and mid-western regions presenting the lowest absolute number of units. The average displacement time to the CEO was 28.4 minutes, while the intention to change CEO location due to the distance from home was reported by 7.8% of users. Lower geographical accessibility was reported in the northern region and for individuals who reported living in the rural area and in cities with larger populations. Conclusion: The availability of CEOs in the country is still low and not equitably distributed among states and regions.


Health Services Accessibility; Health Equity; Dental Health Services

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4034/PBOCI.2018.181.41