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Exploring front liners’ knowledge, participation and evaluation in the implementation of a pay for performance program (PMAQ) in primary health care in Brazil

da Cunha Saddi, Fabiana, Harris, Matthew, Parreira, Fernanda Ramos, Pêgo, Raquel Abrantes, Coelho, Germano Araujo, Lozano, Renata Batista, dos Santos Mundim, Pedro, Peckham, Stephen (2021) Exploring front liners’ knowledge, participation and evaluation in the implementation of a pay for performance program (PMAQ) in primary health care in Brazil. Journal of Health Organization and Management, . ISSN 1477-7266. (doi:10.1108/JHOM-04-2020-0154) (KAR id:85576)


Purpose: This paper employs implementation theory and the political literature on performance measurement to understand how frontline health workers know, participate and evaluate the Brazilian National Program for Improving Access and Quality of Primary Care (PMAQ, 2nd round). Design/methodology/approach: This paper develops an implementation theory-driven qualitative analysis. The research is developed in the city of Goiania (Brazil): a challenging organizational context in primary care (PHC). Interviews were carried out with 25 frontliners – managers, doctors, nurses and community health workers. Data were thematically and hierarchically analysed according to theoretical concepts such as policy knowledge, policy adherence, forms of accountability, alternative logics, organizational capacity and policy feedback. Findings: Results show the need to foster organizational capacity, knowledge, participation and policy feedback at the frontline. Successful implementation would require those adaptations to counteract policy challenges/failures or the emergence of alternative logics. Research limitations/implications: The study was conducted in only one setting, however, our sample includes different types of professionals working in units with different levels of organization capacity, located in distinct HDs, expressing well the implementation of PMAQ/P4P. Qualitative researches need to be developed for further exploring the same/other factors. Social implications: Findings can be used to improve discussions/planning and design of P4P programs in the city and State of Goias. Originality/value: The majority of analysis of PMAQ are of a quantitative or results-based nature. This article focuses on politically significant and unanswered questions regarding the implementation of PMAQ.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/JHOM-04-2020-0154
Projects: How to strengthen leadership and the workforce through the re-design and implementation of a pay for performance program (PMAQ) in PHC in Brazil. A comparative health policy and system analysis
Uncontrolled keywords: Primary health Care, Pay for performance, Brazil
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Funders: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (
Depositing User: Stephen Peckham
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2021 10:49 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2024 06:02 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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