Family Bonds that Support Coping with Chronic Childhood Illness in the State of Paraíba, Brazil
Objective: Identify family bonds that support coping with chronic childhood illness from the perspective of comprehensive care. Method: This exploratory and descriptive study with a qualitative approach was performed in a public hospital in the Brazilian state of Paraíba between December 2011 and March 2012 through semi-structured interviews with mothers of chronically ill children. Thematic analysis was used for the interpretation of the data. Results: The support bonds constituted by the family include the nuclear and extended family; friends; neighbours; the government; healthcare professionals; and mothers who share the same experience. The social support provided falls under different dimensions, such as instrumental support, emotional support, informational support, reinforcement, and positive social interaction. Conclusion: Knowing the bonds that support families coping with chronic illness and their demands for attention and support is fundamental for providing comprehensive and humanised healthcare to those involved in this trajectory.
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