Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A public health study with CEPAS, Brazil

A public health study of 705 families and 2616 family members in a poor living area in Brazil

Professor Pedro Fortes
One of the research projects Østfold University College is a part of in Brazil is together with Professor Pedro Fortes from the Federal University of Espiríto Santo and founder of CEPAS. Medical students from UFES have, under the supervision of Professor Pedro Fortes, a period in their studies with practical social medicine at CEPAS. CEPAS stands for Center of Studies in Promotion of Health Alternatives or as it's called in Portuguese; Centro de Estudos de Promocão em Alternativas de Saude. One of the tasks they have is to interview families about health and living conditions by use of a questionnaire. They have interviewed around 1400 families in the last 10 years (2000-2010). All of these families live in a poor living area that surrunds CEPA. The study can therefore be valuable as a longitudinal study, and see changes in the area over a 10 year period. 705 of these interviews are being analyzed in this study by Kaare T. Pettersen from Østfold University College. The first step was to transfer the answers given on the questionnaire to the statistical data program SPSS. The data has thereafter been analyzed to find correlations both over the 10 year time spread that the and between different variables. A total of three scientific articles are now beeing written with results from this public health study.

The questionnaire has a total of 48 questions with 203 variables and is approved by the research ethical committee of UFES. Part 1: Family (n=705). 28 questions concerning : living conditions; and family economy; -and with a total of 113 variables. Part 2: Family members (n=2616). 20 questions concerning: education; work; health; religion; maritial status; family relationship; - with a total of 90 variables.

A total number of 167 medical students have carried out the interviews in this study. Most of the interviews are carried out by groups of 2-3 students, but in some of the interviews 5-6 students participated.  The first interview in this study was carried out August 3rd 2001 and the last June 19th 2010. The students used 214 days to visit 705 families between 2001 and 2010. They visited on an average 3 families per day, with a range from 1 to 12 families per day. The statistical data will give an overview over important socio-economic issues (including health, education, beliefs, etc.). 
Kaare T. Pettersen

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