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ABSTRACT: The scope of this study was to monitor the access of persons with disabilities and permanent mobility restrictions to the Unified Health System in João Pessoa, State of Pernambuco. This is a descriptive field study, consisting of a random sample of 523 people with disabilities or permanent mobility restrictions. Data collection occurred between August 2007 and December 2008 and consisted of home interviews. The neuromusculoskeletal functions and those related to movement (52%) were among the most affected body functions, with a higher incidence among body structures related to movement (44.2%) and those of the nervous system (39.2%), with special emphasis on the high number of cases (14%) due to the sequelae from strokes. Among the respondents, 63.9% stated that there had not been sufficient and appropriate means to lessen the physical obstacles between their homes and the places where they received healthcare, and 41.7% claimed that there were no special facilities for the handicapped in the healthcare offices. Brazilian law ensures rights for people with disabilities, which were not broadly respected. Action is necessary to prevent the development of disabilities, especially those resulting from the sequelae from strokes.
Ciencia & saude coletiva 07/2012; 17(7):1833-40.