A descriptive study of teenage students’ perceptions in terms of health: a Merleau-Ponty’s perspective


Ligia Cordeiro Matos Faial1, Rose Mary Costa Rosa Andrade Silva1, Eliane Ramos Pereira1

1Fluminense Federal University


This is a dissertation project of the Professional Master’s in Health Education, Fluminense Federal University.
Aim: To understand the perception of students with regard to the health service developed at school and, based on the comments of students, to build a proposal for intervention focused on the protection, prevention and promotion of adolescent health.
Method: This is a descriptive study, in which a qualitative approach was used. It consists of a field research with a phenomenological focus and based on the theoretical framework of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. The study will be conducted at the Fluminense Federal Institute, Bom Jesus do Itabapoana campus, and the subjects are adolescents aged 14 to 18 years of age, enrolled in the first year of high school. The research intends to assist the teenagers concerning health care in their educational environment.
Descriptors: School Health; Delivery of Health Care; Adolescent.



Adolescence is characterized by physical, psychological and social transformations, and it includes changes in the development and education of the individual. Mistakenly understood as a period with less chance of illness and death, it is the stage in which young people are exposed to dyadic vulnerability-risk such as the use of alcohol and drugs, violence, early and unprotected sexual intercourse, unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases(1).

By highlighting adolescent care, it can be seen that initiatives date back to 1989, with the creation of Adolescent Health Program (PROSAD) by the Ministry of Health and, in 2007, a partnership with the Ministry of Education established the School Health Program (PSE)(2). Despite government initiatives, in practice, it is observed that the assistance to adolescents continues to be disjointed.

The construction of effective strategies in primary care, aimed at reducing avoidable health problems and the promotion of the health of young people, becomes relevant in terms of this issue. We believe that the structuring of the service in comprehensive care, prioritizing preventive, educational and group activities, contextualized according to the socioeconomic and cultural environment of the individual, is required. This attitude would be opportune for the creation of linkages and interactions with young people, focusing on self-care in health(3).



  1. What is the perception of students in terms of the health service developed at school?
  2. How do students perceive health services as part of their education?



To understand the perceptions of students in terms of the health service developed at school; to describe how students perceive this activity as part of their education; to build an intervention proposal focusing on prevention, protection and promotion of adolescent health, taking students’ comments as a basis.



This is an exploratory and descriptive study, adopting a qualitative approach from a Merleau-Ponty phenomenological perspective. This method looks for the essence of the phenomenon in question. The study will be conducted at the Fluminense Federal Institute, Bom Jesus do Itabapoana campus, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The inclusion criteria were students from 14 to 18 years of age, enrolled in the first year of high school. We believe that compulsory medical assessment of students registered in the first year will allow greater interaction with the service. It will strengthen the bond, and it will increase the contribution of health as support, and as a facilitator of the education process for young people. Therefore, an ideal period for data collection will be the last three months of the school year of 2014. Exclusion criteria are students enrolled in the second and third years due to the absence of periodic medical assessment, in that this would contribute to reduced contact with the health service and damage to the study results.

In terms of data collection, the study proposal, the reading and explanation of the Terms of Free and Informed Consent, and the terms of assent to under-age students will be presented to the students and their guardians, in order to clarify possible questions in terms of the ethical and legal specifications of Resolution No. 466/12.

Subjects will be addressed by the researcher and the phenomenological interview will occur, mediated by two guiding questions: What is the perception of students in terms of the health service developed at school? How do students perceive health service as part of their education? After transcription, reading and rereading, the data will be categorized. Meaningful units will be identified, and used to capture the essence of the phenomenon - that is, that which persists in the face of variations that appear in the data, in order to support the development of the proposed intervention.
We believe that this study will contribute to the field of health and education, particularly in terms of the structuring of adolescent health care in the school environment.



1. Ministério da Saúde (Brasil), Secretaria de Atenção à Saúde, Área de Saúde do Adolescente e do jovem. Marco Legal: saúde, um direito de adolescentes. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2007. p.7-10.

2. Brasil. Decreto n° 6286, de 05 de dezembro de 2007. Institui o Programa Saúde na Escola – PSE, e dá outras providências [ internet ]. Diário Oficial [ da ] República Federativa do Brasil. 2007 dez 05 [ cited 2013 nov 15 ]. Available from: http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_ato2007-2010/2007/decreto/d6286.htm

3. Gurgel GI, Alves MDS, Ximenes LB, Vieira NFC, Beserra EP, Gubert FA. Integrative Review: Teenage Pregnancy Prevention and Compentencies of the Nurse to the Promotion of Health. Online Braz J of Nurs [ internet ]. 2011 [ cited 2014 Feb 15 ] 10(3):[ about 13 p. ]. Available from: http://www.objnursing.uff.br/index.php/nursing/issue/view/29. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.5935/1676-4285.20113586



Project data:
Dissertation project of the Professional Master’s Degree Program in Health Education at the Fluminense Federal University (MPES/UFF), approved on March 14, 2014 by an examining board composed of professors-doctors: Rose Mary Costa Rosa Andrade Silva, Eliane Ramos Pereira and Cláudia Mara de Melo Tavares.


All authors participated in the phases of this publication in one or more of the following steps, in According to the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE, 2013): (a) substantial involvement in the planning or preparation of the manuscript or in the collection, analysis or interpretation of data; (b) preparation of the manuscript or conducting critical revision of intellectual content; (c) approval of the versión submitted of this manuscript. All authors declare for the appropriate purposes that the responsibilities related to all aspects of the manuscript submitted to OBJN are yours. They ensure that issues related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the article were properly investigated and resolved. Therefore, they exempt the OBJN of any participation whatsoever in any imbroglios concerning the content under consideration. All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest of financial or personal nature concerning this manuscript which may influence the writing and/or interpretation of the findings. This statement has been digitally signed by all authors as recommended by the ICMJE, whose model is available in http://www.objnursing.uff.br/normas/DUDE_eng_13-06-2013.pdf



Received: 08/18/2014
Revised: 09/29/2014
Approved: 09/29/2014