Representações sociais de familiares de pessoas com diabetes mellitus sobre essa condição crônica

by Coelho, Maria Seloi

Abstract (Summary)
The objective of the present study is to better comprehend the social representations of the family members of people with Mellitus Diabetes (MD) concerning this chronic condition, founded upon the social representation theory as proposed by Serge Moscovici (1961). In order to arrive at comprehending these social representations, the data collection techniques of free word association was utilized with 100 participants. Of these participants, 22 responded to semi-structured interviews. The data analysis of the interviews was completed through thematic-categorical content analysis, which was composed of three stages: pre-analysis, exploration of the material and treatment of the results obtained, and interpretation. The analysis of the free associations was carried out with the assistance of the Ensemble de Programmes Permettant l# Analyse des Evocations (EVOC) software and resulted in the four quadrant diagram, with identification of the central nucleus and the peripheral elements of social representation. Based on the data from interviews, the following items were identified: the context of relatives, the information and knowledge dimension, and the dimension of behavior actions of relatives of people with MD. The context of relatives, in the majority of cases, included children, and elevated degree of proximity, daily living, with participation in the execution and orientation of care. This context propitiated sharing living experiences, of which the negative experiences had a greater mark, bringing fear and suffering as a result of the indications of the gravity of the disease and the risk of death. The information dimension sought to bring the elaboration of what the participants knew and felt with respect to MD. The disease was represented as: disease of care; incurable disease which provokes alterations and complications; and difficult disease which unsettles the emotional. Care was a representation associated with control and to disease prevention, but also the cause of suffering and restrictions. The incurable disease and its complications made these feelings potentially greater. The affectionate dimension of MD was represented by negative feelings, suggesting concern for the future and the hereditary aspect of the disease. The genetic question and feeding were elements linked to MD as hereditary disease and as preventable disease. In facing the disease, performing care was highlighted by the majority of the participants, facing the emotional aspect, and non-care also were manifested. Representations of the disease were related to behavior and care actions towards preventing MD, as desirable modes of actions, permitting making sense and justifying these actions. When behavior appears to be in the opposite direction to the representation identified and to expected behavior, other representations may be in action with a stronger and more present sense in that context and social moment. Based upon the technique of free association, the centrality of care, of hereditarity, of the incurable disease which brings changes, and sadness as a negative emotion were confirmed. Only the prevention representation did not appear in the interviews, demonstrating the importance of articulation between these two techniques, towards comprehension of the dynamism which involves social representations. Both techniques acted in the sense of complementing one another and made a more effective approximation of the complexity which involves the elaboration of the sense of MD possible.The social representations theory, which guided this study, contributed to the apprehension of mechanisms and processes to which the relatives of people with MD make sense of the disease and how they articulate and reproduce these representations daily. I sought the recognition of knowledge produced by people in their daily lives of common sense, as being fundamental to comprehending the senses attributed and health care actions, signaling the importance of social interaction towards the construction of subjects. For as much the representations concerning the disease influence their choices and actions as actions influence in elaborating social representations. The utilization of social representations for greater comprehension of the subject and the development of health care education is a theoretical-practical construction which seeks to go beyond the biological sense, under the perspective of subjects of a thinking society with feelings and living experiences which will direct its interpretations and attitudes. The theme of MD, upon including family members, suggests space for many studies directed to the actions/behaviors and significances of this social group. In the process of comprehending social representations of the children and grandchildren of people with MD, many negative representations emerged. With great importance, the possibility for prevention was recognized. I believe that there is a vast path to be forged, with research and practices in health care education, in the sense of elaborating the educational proposals which respond to this preventative need.
This document abstract is also available in Portuguese.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Betina Hörner Schlindwein Meirelles; Jussara Gue Martini; Mercedes Trentini; Denise Maria Guerreiro Vieira da Silva; Brigido Vizeu de Carmargo; Luiz Fernando Rangel Tura

School:Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

School Location:Brazil

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus


Date of Publication:12/19/2008

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