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VOLPATO, Flávia Sordi. Oncology patients: a glance about the difficulties lived by the caretaking relatives. Imaginario [online]. 2007, vol.13, n.14, pp. 511-544. ISSN 1413-666X.

The patients with cancer quite often need a continuous help in their everyday life. Usually, one of the relatives is put in charge of these activities, dedicating him/ herself for a long period to such cares. The purpose of this research is to make a survey of the difficulties experienced by the caretaking relatives of oncology patients and check the support techniques presented in literature to them. The data were collected through interviews with 16 relatives that take care of patients with cancer for at least 4 months, without considering sex, age or instruction level. The analysis followed a qualitative and quantitative proposal. From the results found, we can be sure that the relatives that take care of patients with cancer are people prone to get sick easily, what may cause a psychic suffering to them and thoughts about death. These caretakers present a sudden change in their life as well as in their daily routine. Some of them reported that they have already identified some psychosomatic symptoms. We concluded that it is extremely important that these relatives try to take some time to take care of themselves. Doing that, they will be able to dedicate themselves to their relatives with cancer in a more effective way and enjoy the positive aspects of their duty.

Palavras-chave : Caretakers; Family/patient; Psychological support.

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