Difficulties in a Father’s Day-to-Day Care of a Child with A Chronic Illness


  • Dennyse Cristina Macedo da Silva Universidade Federal da Paraíba
  • Altamira Pereira da Silva Reichert Universidade Federal da Paraíba
  • Vanessa Medeiros da Nóbrega Universidade Federal da Paraíba
  • Meryeli Santos de Araújo Dantas Universidade Federal da Paraíba
  • Gabriela Lisieux Lima Gomes Universidade Federal da Paraíba
  • Jaqueline Queiroz de Macedo Universidade Federal da Paraíba
  • Erika Acioli Gomes Pimenta Universidade Federal da Paraíba
  • Isolda Maria Barros Torquato Universidade Federal de Campina Grande
  • Neusa Collet Universidade Federal da Paraíba




Paternity, Chronic illness, Parent-child relationships, Family


Objective: To understand the difficulties experienced by fathers of children with chronic illnesses in terms of day-to-day childcare.

Methodology: A descriptive, qualitative study conducted between June and August 2014 by means of semi-structured interviews with 10 participants who were fathers of children with chronic illnesses. The data were subjected to thematic analysis.

Results: The fathers experienced many difficulties in terms of day-to-day care: emotional burden, trying to balance work with caring for their child, administering medication, hospitalisation, and sharing the child's care with the mother. Because the fathers assumed financial responsibility for their homes, they lacked time to better serve their children and to foster the emotional structure needed to support the duties and constraints that arise because of their absence.

Conclusion: The fathers needed guidance and support from the health team to overcome the difficulties experienced in day-to-day life and become better prepared to understand and fulfill their roles in caring for children with chronic illness effectively.


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