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Texto & Contexto - Enfermagem

Print version ISSN 0104-0707On-line version ISSN 1980-265X


NEVES, Eliane Tatsch  and  CABRAL, Ivone Evangelista. Empowerment of women caregiver of children with special health care needs. Texto contexto - enferm. [online]. 2008, vol.17, n.3, pp.552-560. ISSN 0104-0707.

The demands of caring for children with special health care needs contribute to the physical and mental burden of female caregivers. Qualitative research was applied to analyze the implications of such demands on caregiver empowerment. Eleven caregiver guests at a university hospital in southern Brazil participated in three group dynamics of the creative-sensitive method, during 2004-2005. Discourse analysis was applied to the empirical data. The individual empowerment of caregivers was constructed by facing the limiting situations of care and the therapeutic encounter with clinicians. The role of 'good mother' gave mothers an individual empowerment, leading them to abdicate their feminine condition. However, they were under suffering, stress, oppression, and social isolation. Once caregivers were considered in their motherhood but not in their feminine condition, an individual empowerment distanced them from collective empowerment. The practices of individual empowerment, centered upon abnegation and dedication made reflection-action possible in order to promote the collective empowerment process.

Keywords : Woman's health; Caregivers; Child health; Health education.

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