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Unregulated health care workers in the care of aging populations: Similarities and differences between Brazil and Canada
  1. Mirella Veras1,
  2. Nicole Paquet2,
  3. Eliany N. Oliveira3,
  4. David Zakus4,
  5. Raywat Deonandan5 and
  6. Kevin Pottie6
  1. 1. École de réadaptation Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, CRIR site Institut de réadaptation Gingras-Lindsay de Montréal
  2. 2. School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3. Nursing Department, Universidade Estadual Vale do Acaraú, Brazil, Rua Sete n° 41, Condômino Tordesilhas (Casa 29) Sobral/CE. CEP: 62 040 370Bairro Betania
  4. 4. Faculty of Community Services, School of Occupational and Public Health, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
  5. 5. Interdisciplinary School, University of Ottawa, 75, Laurier Ave East, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  6. 6. Departments of Family Medicine and Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine 1 Stewart Street, Room 231, Ottawa, Canada
  1. Corresponding author : Mirella Veras, PhD, École de réadaptation Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, CRIR site Institut de réadaptation Gingras-Lindsay de Montréal, 6300, avenue Darlington, Montreal, Quebec H3S 2J4, Canada, Tel.: +(613) 407 1826/(613) 562-5800 ext 2019, E-mail: mvera025{at}


Introduction The world’s population is rapidly aging. Unregulated health care workers (UHCWs) are emerging as a potentially important workforce in the care of older adults.

Objective A review was conducted to identify the activities of UHCWs with respect to contributions and limitations.

Methods A systematic integrative literature review was conducted using online databases (LILACS, PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and grey literature). The inclusion criteria were as follows: (i) description of UHCW activities related to older adults; and (ii) description of UHCW activities performed in Brazil or Canada.

Results Eleven papers were included in this review. In both countries, UHCW activities included health promotion, mental health care, and rehabilitation. In Brazil, UHCWs performed integrated care, while in Canada UHCWs performed personal care and housekeeping.

Conclusion These results highlight the potential and limits of UHCWs who provide care for the aging population. Such information is important to health and social policy making and household decision making.

  • Aging
  • unregulated health care workers
  • older adults
  • aging workforce
  • global health

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See

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