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The meaning attributed by the father to his child\'s cancer relapse

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Author(s):
Naiara Barros Polita
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Escola de Enfermagem (EE/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Lucila Castanheira Nascimento; Jeferson Santos Araujo; Francine de Montigny; Manoel Antonio dos Santos; Mauren Teresa Grubisich Mendes Tacla
Advisor: Lucila Castanheira Nascimento
Abstract

Childhood cancer triggers several repercussions in the life of children and adolescents and in community, including social and economic impact. Currently, in the literature, a considerable number of studies present the psychosocial aspects of childhood cancer focusing on the mother and family, but few studies examine the experience of the father. Most of these studies mainly examine the experience of the father at the time of diagnosis, reaffirming a knowledge gap about the experience of fathers in situations of their child\'s cancer relapse. This study aims to interpret the meanings fathers assign to their children cancer relapse, based on the cultural system. For the purpose of this research, we selected the medical and masculinities anthropology and the narrative method as a theoretical and methodological framework, respectively. The study included 13 fathers of children with cancer relapse, living in the metropolitan area of the city of Londrina, located in the state of Paraná and the city of Ribeirão Preto, in the state of São Paulo. Data collection occurred from May 2018 to July 2019 at the participant\'s home and in the premises of the co-participating institutions. In-depth interviews were conducted, with the support of a semi-structured script and field diary registration. Individual narratives were constructed and subsequently examined with inductive thematic analysis as well as the development of the hermeneutic circle. We elaborated two thematic narrative syntheses: 1) Good days, bad days: Oscillating between the resignation of death and the hope of healing; 2) Relapse as a life-transforming experience as a man and as a father: oscillating between hegemonic masculinity and multiple masculinities. The first synthesis highlighted the explanatory models for childhood cancer relapse, the father\'s reactions and actions and their support network. The diagnosis of relapse represented a proximity to the child\'s death and the finality of life. The finitude of the child\'s life was evidenced by the symptoms and clinical state of the child. However, although the father experienced suffering by thinking about losing his child, sometimes he found strength in the hope of healing to deal with the various demands triggered by the illness. The second synthesis highlighted the transformations of male identity, fatherhood and interpersonal relationships that occurred in the life of the father after his child\'s cancer relapse. The father suffered from being unable to play his role as protector and to exercise his fatherhood and manhood. However, to deal with the needs of the child and the family, the father developed new skills and adds new functions to his fatherhood, oscillating between hegemonic masculinity and other masculinities. The results show how culture, especially masculinities, influence and are influenced by fathers\' experiences on the journey through the relapse of childhood cancer. We learned that the meanings attributed to experiences, fatherhood and masculinity were constructed based on beliefs, values, symbols, previous experiences and interpersonal relationships. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 18/03733-2 - The meaning of a child's Cancer relapse from the father's point of view
Grantee:Naiara Barros Polita
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate