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Rural families' interpretations of experiencing unexpected transition in the wake of a natural disaster

As interpretações de famílias rurais sobre a experiência de uma transição inesperada depois de um desastre natural

Las interpretaciones de familias rurales sobre la experiencia de una transición inesperada después de un desastre natural


Natural disasters affect populations in various parts of the world. The impacts of disasters can cause many problems to the health of people and disruption to family life, potentially leading to an unexpected transition. The objective of this paper is to present the unexpected transitional experiences of rural families following a natural disaster. A multiple case study of six families was conducted with children and adolescents in a rural area affected by a 2008 disaster in southern Brazil. For data collection, we used participant observation, narrative interviews, genograms, ecomaps and an instrument called calendar routine. The analysis of the data resulted in different family interpretations about the changes resulting from the storm and compared life before and after the disaster. The loss of homes and loved ones, migration, unemployment, and losses from the farm were the main changes associated with new development tasks. The experiences of family transition after the disaster revealed that losses influenced social lives, daily routines and the preservation of cultural values.

Primary Health Care; Family Nursing; Family Health; Natural Disasters

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