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Journal of Human Growth and Development

versão impressa ISSN 0104-1282versão On-line ISSN 2175-3598


BASTOS, Ana Cecília de S.; VELAME, Zilma L. S.; FRANCO, Anamélia L. S.  e  TEIXEIRA, Ana Emília. Health: a duty of the state or a family matter? analysis of an experience of families from a popular neighbourhood regarding the health system. Rev. bras. crescimento desenvolv. hum. [online]. 2006, vol.16, n.2, pp. 1-15. ISSN 0104-1282.

In what ways does an urban family use the resources it has to cope with circumstances related to the health-illness process? Literature suggests that an individual submitted to adverse conditions can use various alternatives to overcome hazards to his/her health. If s/he is not competent to face the problem himself/herself, s/he adopts alternatives involving a lay network of social support. If those alternatives fail, s/he turns to prescriptions of competent professionals. The study focuses on descriptions of ways to cope with events linked with health and illness in daily life, rebuilding the experience of the family in its relationship to the health system. The results suggest: a) the presence of standard behaviors and ideas, shaped by characteristics of the illness situation, that are coordinated with the use of the professional health system; b) the adoption of parallel therapeutic systems, with a continuous evaluation of the given results, the formal system being one of the last chosen resources, except when the family faces accidents or chronic problems; c) the adequacy of medical prescriptions to the reality of family life; d) a re-signification of suffering that lessens the anguish and favors the action; e) the presence of conflicts in the family-health system interface, involving various resources and systems of beliefs and practices.

Palavras-chave : Health care practices; Therapeutic systems; Family.

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