Evaluation of the first level of care for tuberculosis control in Buenos Aires, Argentina*

Mariani et al.


Evaluate primary health care functions from the perspective of patients with tuberculosis from slums in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Cross-sectional observational study with adult patients with tuberculosis (TB) and without TB (NoTB), living in slums (S) and outside them (NoS). Participants’ perceptions were evaluated using the Primary Care Assessment Tool for users (abbreviated version), which measures four main domains (first contact, ongoing care, coordination with specialists, and comprehensiveness) and selected secondary domains. A Likert scale was used, ranging from “No, not at all” (1 point) to “Yes, definitely” (4 points). Scores ≥ 3 were considered to indicate adequate performance of functions. Averages were calculated for each domain, as well as two overall scores: with and without secondary domains.


83 participants were included (20 TB-S, 21 TB-NoS, 19 NoTB-S, and 23 NoTB-NoS). The evaluated functions were perceived as inadequate. The TB-S group gave the lowest overall scores, not reaching 3 points in any domain. There were no significant differences in domains or overall scores between groups. Participants with TB gave lower scores in all domains, except in family-centered care, where they gave a significantly higher score than NoTB participants. The overall score without secondary domains was lower for TB participants than for the NoTB groups.


According to the perception of participants with TB and without TB, primary health care functions are not satisfactory, either in slums or outside them.

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