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Salud Pública de México

versão impressa ISSN 0036-3634


NIGENDA, Gustavo; LOPEZ-ORTEGA, Mariana; MATARAZZO, Cecilia  e  JUAREZ-RAMIREZ, Clara. Household care for ill and disabled persons: challenges for the Mexican health care system. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2007, vol.49, n.4, pp.286-294. ISSN 0036-3634.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the pattern of time devoted by members of Mexican households to providing care to ill and disabled family members. To analyze the mechanisms used by families to provide care to an ill or disabled member. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The database of the 2002 National Survey of Time Use was explored to accomplish the first objective. The second objective was accomplished by collecting primary data through in-depth interviews and focal groups in Coahuila, Sinaloa, Zacatecas, Jalisco, Oaxaca and Yucatán from June to December 2004. RESULTS: It was estimated that 1 738 756 persons spent time providing care to ill persons and 1 496 616 to disabled persons, over the reference period of the survey. There are important differences in the dedication of hours by gender and education level. Moreover, households tend to reorganize their structure to provide care to ill and disabled members. Women tend to have more responsibilities in the process. There are important differences in the care of ill and of the disabled in terms of the physical and emotional stress produced in the caregiver. CONCLUSIONS: The implications of results in the care of ill and disabled populations are highly relevant for the future of the Mexican health care system. Population aging and the increase of chronic diseases call for a reinforced relationship between institutional and household care so as to complement capacities, a situation already taking place in other countries.

Palavras-chave : Home care; gender perspective; socio-economic analysis; Mexico.

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