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Revista Cubana de Salud Pública

versión impresa ISSN 0864-3466versión On-line ISSN 1561-3127


LOURO BERNAL, Isabel de Lourdes  y  SERRANO PATTEN, Ana. Family research and the value of the qualitative methodology for the study of confrontation with the sickle cell anemia. Rev Cubana Salud Pública [online]. 2010, vol.36, n.1, pp.38-53. ISSN 0864-3466.

Family research in health is a type of research line that takes the family as the analysis unit in order to know the association of this social group with the health status of family members and of the population as a whole. It intended to reflect the many complex interactions among the society, the family and health as well as among the health policies, the health care systems and the family requirements. The qualitative research methodology provides ideal resources to study the family confrontation with health and the critical processes of disease affecting its members. The outcomes of the research study of family confrontation with disease conduced in 23 families having school-age children with sickle cell anemia were shown. This study was performed in Granma province in 2007 in which in-depth interviews were administered to key informers, that is, the patient's mother or caregiver. Two stages have been identified in the family life, the one covering 0 to 5 years of age of the sick child, and the other ranging from 6 to 11 years of age; both of them are linked to frequent admission to hospital during the early childhood. Additionally, three phases in sequential order were determined in the process of confrontation: confusion, adaptation and adaptation-integration. There emerged a pattern of confrontation allowing the families to fulfill their functions, regardless of the great efforts demanded by the care of a child who carries chronic genetic disease.

Palabras clave : Family research; qualitative research; process of family confrontation with disease; children; sickle cell anemia.

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