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Redefining familiar identity: trajectory of families after the schizophrenia diagnosis

Grant number: 07/04676-8
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2007 - November 30, 2009
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Nursing - Psychiatric Nursing
Principal Investigator:Sueli Aparecida Frari Galera
Grantee:Sueli Aparecida Frari Galera
Host Institution: Escola de Enfermagem de Ribeirão Preto (EERP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


The emotional, social and financials consequences that schizophrenia imposes on the patient have significant effect on your families. The studies about the impact and the family answers for the mental illness are usually limited to describe the most affected aspects of life and the family coping. However, it has been short studied how the impact of perception process is developed and the family dealing through the years of living with the illness. When a family member receives the diagnoses for schizophrenia the familiar life suffers an impact, compared to the trauma lived by catastrophic accidents victims. After the initial impact, the family starts a adaptation process trying to maintain a certain balance that provides advantages for the survival of all the group. In this perspective, the family modifies its way of functioning to adapt a new condition: taking care of an ill relative. It organizes and reorganizes continuously, in attempt of conciliating the cares for the ill in the family routine. This research project questions are mostly: What are the changes in familiar trajectory after the illness? Do these changes modify the family identity concept? If does, how the families express this new concept trough the years? Which terms are used to describe this new identity? When these terms are introduced? The objective is to know the familiar trajectory after the illness and understanding the contribution of events/moments in the family identity. The research is based on the symbolic interactionism, Systems theory applied to family and in the biographic interpretative method. The collection of data will be carried through two interviews with two members of families who are living with patient at three distinct moments: the first five years after the diagnoses, the period between six and ten years of coexistence and the next period of eleven to fifteen years of coexistence. The families will be selected trough three open services that serve the west Ribeirão Preto region population. The interviews will be taped, transcripts and the analyses will consist in identifying parts where the interviewed tells events, patterns of behaving and theme. Next the parts will be dated, identified and cut off the interviews. The cut off parts will be put together in chronological order to detach events, themes or patterns. The data set will be interpreted fallowing the time line and constituting a diagram lightening people, environments and models of interaction present in the trajectory of familiar life (AU)

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