this article is a literature review on frequent-attenders in health services. the current study objective was to analyze the problem for patients, families and health system and its potential related factors. a search in national and international journals was conducted to find a definition criteria for detection and to analyze the factors that may generate or perpetuate such behavior in the national context, based on the theoretical model of aday and andersen. it also suggests some intervention strategies in low-complexity services. we propose the use of percentiles for case definition and common mental disorders as potential contributors to this health behavior. this article hopes to contribute to understanding the use of services when access barriers are overcome.