Nevin Manimala Statistics

Oral cancer care in the “Metropolitan I” health region in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: enabling and constraining factors

Cien Saude Colet. 2023 Mar;28(3):875. doi: 10.1590/1413-81232023283.11782022. Epub 2022 Sep 15.


The aim was to identify constraining and enabling factors related to the organization of health care networks that influence access to oral cancer diagnosis and treatment. A case study in the “Metropolitan I” health region using data collected from health information systems and 26 semi-structured interviews with health managers and professionals. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and strategic conduct analysis, drawing on the theory of structuration proposed by Giddens. The findings reveal that coverage of oral health care in primary care services is generally low and prioritizes specific groups and urgent cases, hampering access to oral cancer diagnosis. While the presence of a network of secondary care services in the municipalities that make up the health region facilitates diagnosis, there are major barriers to treatment. Informal partnerships established with dental schools play an important role in diagnosis, but do not receive funding. The regulation of appointments for diagnosis was not restrictive. In contrast, the regulation of referrals for treatment lacked transparency, was subject to long delays, and shortage of places. Despite advances, constraining factors related to structure and the actions of agents involved in the care process persist, hampering the timely diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer.

PMID:36888870 | DOI:10.1590/1413-81232023283.11782022

By Nevin Manimala

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