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Psicologia: teoria e prática

Print version ISSN 1516-3687


CASTRO, Elisa Kern de; PELOSO, Franciele Cristiane; VITAL, Luisa  and  ARMILIATO, Maria Júlia. Beliefs about childhood cancer: perceptions of survivors and mothers. Psicol. teor. prat. [online]. 2018, vol.20, n.2, pp. 309-324. ISSN 1516-3687.

Beliefs regarding a disease refer to mental schemes people construct based on their direct or indirect experiences and that are related to their health behavior and self-regulation. Such beliefs help childhood cancer survivors understand their behavior in their follow-up treatment. This study's purpose was to examine the beliefs concerning childhood cancer among 27 survivors and 49 mothers, who completed sociodemographic surveys and questionnaires addressing disease perceptions via an online platform. Results reveal that mothers, more frequently than survivors, perceived childhood cancer as a chronic disease with cyclical symptoms, with more negative consequences and emotional representations. The mothers also reported having greater understanding regarding the disease and more strongly believed in personal and treatment control in comparison to survivors. The conclusion is that the fact that survivors more positively perceived childhood cancer may indicate they re-signified their experiences in an adaptive manner.

Keywords : cancer; childhood cancer; health beliefs; self-regulation; illness perception.

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