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Female caregivers accompanying children with cancer in the hospital setting

Mujeres cuidadoras, no profesionales, acompañantes de niños con cáncer en el contexto hospitalario

As mulheres cuidadoras-leigas acompanhantes de crianças com câncer no contexto hospitalar

The possibility of having a companion is a constitutional right guaranteed to children, elderly and parturients. Independently of their stage in the life cycle, having a companion is a situation socially and culturally determined in Brazil. This is a qualitative, descriptive-exploratory and interventionist study that aim to describe and discuss the perceptions of female caregivers of children with cancer while accompanying them at the hospital Data were collected through a focal group with nine women between March and May 2007 at a teaching hospital in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The thematic analyses shows the participants' passive and kind behavior in the face of daily adversities, reflection of the power and authority conditions of the institutional objectives, so common in health scenarios in the Brazilian reality. Emancipation could be reached through educative strategies, characterized by information and dissemination of users' rights and critical and demanding attitudes when confronted.

Caregivers; Patient escort service; Child, hospitalized; Neoplasms; Health education

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Escola de Enfermagem Rua São Manoel, 963 -Campus da Saúde , 90.620-110 - Porto Alegre - RS - Brasil, Fone: (55 51) 3308-5242 / Fax: (55 51) 3308-5436 - Porto Alegre - RS - Brazil