User's representations of chronic diseases and educational practice

IThis is a qualitative research study held between October, 2008, and March, 2009, with 45 users over 60 years of age from a Health Unit, which aimed to identify their representations of chronic disease. Inerviews were carried out to collect chronic disease's representation. Three team meetings were also carried out, with an average of 8 users. Twenty-four (24) users participated in this step. The themes brought out of their discourses were: "The arrival of the disease: explanatory factors"; "The mystery of the bodyly changes: an obligation to change", and "The importance of learning and sharing the experience". Participants recognized the factors related to the disease onset and their commitments, the changes necessary to keep living and put off complications, and they also valued the exchange of experiences through dialogue in educational activities.

Chronic disease; Health education; Health promotion; Nursing care

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