Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
Print version ISSN 0102-7972
ANTON, Márcia Camaratta and PICCININI, Cesar Augusto. The impact of pediatric liver transplantation on family relations. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2010, vol.23, n.2, pp. 187-197. ISSN 0102-7972. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722010000200001.
This study attempts to understand the impact of pediatric liver transplantation on family relations. Six mothers of two-parent families whose children had been submitted to liver transplant within the last six years participated in the study. Mothers were interviewed about family relationships in the context of pediatric liver transplantation. Qualitative content analysis of the interviews revealed that parents-child relationship was marked by fear of death, leading to permissive and overprotective attitudes in order to reduce the child's suffering. It was noted that this pattern of behavior was maintained even after transplantation and patient's recovery. Parents' relationship tended to fortify and focus on the child's transplant and illness. Parents' relationship with their healthy children was affected. These children developed feelings of abandonment, competition and rivalry. Relatives tended to become closer and played an important supportive role. The results showed that all family members were affected and needed restructuring which reinforces the importance of early and systematic psychological assistance to the families aiming at a better adaptation to the child's condition, preventing the development of emotional problems.
Keywords : Pediatric liver transplant; Family relations; Psychology.