Distance learning course for Primary Health Care professionals

Airton Tetelbom Stein, Maria Eugenia Pinto, Alessandra Dahmer, Eliana Wendland, Otavio Pereira Davila


Introdução: There is a need to improve Primary Health Care in developing countries. The challenge for the health system is to train effectively Primary Health Care professionals. Distance-learning course for family physicians, nurses and dentists is one of the strategies designed by the Ministry of Health to enhance the quality of primary care delivery in Brazil.

Objetivos: To evaluate the perception of the impact of a distance-learning course in changing behavior and improve skills related to Primary Health Care in Brazil.

Metodologia ou descrição da experiência: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 251 Primary Health Care workers – dentist, nurses and family physicians. Data was collected in 48 cities from south Brazil, by a web–based questionnaire and an interview with Primary Health Care evaluation tools, socio-economic and professional data. The subjects answered whether the web-based course has lead to changes in professional behavior and which areas were most impacted. The distance learning course was a eighteen months long course, developed by the Public Health Department of the Federal University of Health Science with objective of improve primary care attention using web-based dynamic tools (www.unasus.ufcspa.com.br).

Resultados: From 251 eligible subjects, 39% replied the web-based questionnaire and the mean age was 35.2±8.27DP (range: 25-68). Forty-eight different towns from South Brazil had been included in this sample. Nurse represented 67.3% of the health professionals and 88.8% were women. There were 94% an agreement on the course as an instrument to change the practice.

Conclusões ou hipóteses: The results have shown that distance learning course is effective to enhance Primary Health Care professional’s behavior perception, impacting in the day-by-day practice. The present research has shown that a distance learning course can enhance the implementation of Primary Health Care attributes.


Primary Health Care; Training; Distance Course

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