To develop recommendations to strengthen nutritional care in the primary health care (PHC) setting in Brazil based on expert consensus.
A descriptive and exploratory study was performed using the Delphi technique. Of 172 invited PHC experts in nutrition, 116 accepted the invitation and 72 participated in the first Delphi round. The second round had 56 participants from the five Brazilian regions, including managers, healthcare professionals, representatives from civil society organizations, and researchers. The recommendations were developed based on thematic analysis of the responses to open-ended questions about barriers, strategies, actions, and initiatives from five components of the National Food and Nutrition Policy (food and nutrition surveillance, coordination of nutritional care, health promotion, intersectoral focus, and management of food and nutrition actions). In the
second round, experts classified each proposed item regarding its pertinence and relevance for the purpose of recommendation.
A consensus was reached on 35 recommendations distributed in six categories: structure; PHC nutritional agenda; organization of the healthcare network and PHC; nutritional work processes in PHC; planning, monitoring and evaluation of nutritional actions in PHC; and information systems. These categories were further classified into two blocks: “PHC structuring actions to strengthen nutrition” and “nutrition structuring actions to strengthen PHC.”
The recommendations were developed by experienced participants who are familiar with both nutritional and PHC pathways from diverse perspectives, and will be useful for the management and proposition of public policies to strengthen nutritional care in the PHC setting in Brazil.