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Revista Cubana de Enfermería

versión impresa ISSN 0864-0319versión On-line ISSN 1561-2961


SUEUDA COSTA, Maria et al. Social representations of old people in hemodialysis: A Case study in the northeast of Brazil. Rev Cubana Enfermer [online]. 2007, vol.23, n.4. ISSN 0864-0319.

The National Policy for Attention to the Chronic Renal Disease Bearer recommends the carry out of studies that contribute to the integrality and humanization of the assistance. We aimed at knowing the elderly social representations in order to cope with the hemodialysis. Descriptive research outlined in a case study conducted from August until October 2005. Out of 159 patients, 49 (31 %) were aged people. The study sample included ten elderly of either gender, with dialysis time ranging from one to six years, according to the following inclusion criteria: patients bearing systemic arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or with both pathologies; able to express themselves; available to be interviewed and perform the expression technique, named the collage. For the analysis and data interpretation, we used Bardin's Analysis of Content Technique. We found six men and four women between 61 and 76 years old and with both diseases associated. From the interview, we identified 11 categories and 26 thematic units and from the collage, two categories: positive attitude (4); negative attitude (6). We highlighted the category "living with the machine" (interview), as represented by the image of "a friend", because otherwise, "they would have already died", they expressed the difficulty of the beginning, but being adapted afterwards. We highlighted that all patients were interviewed at the hemodialysis machine, therefore preserving the natural hemodialysis environment. Positive attitude representations were a hope to live, a motivation not to die, and expectations toward kidney transplantation. The negative attitudes were sadness, fear, and suffering due to arm fistulas and the absence of medical therapy to avoid their death. Elderly taking hemodialysis constitute a group with its own peculiarities, which require individual and special attention from health professionals, based on scientific knowledge and directed towards aging

Palabras clave : Old people; social representations; hemodialysis.

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