The representation of cancer in the ill person and their family. Their meanings involvement in family communication

The representation of cancer in the ill person and their family. Their meanings involvement in family communication

Riquelme Olivares, Mercè

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Abstract:

The diagnosis of a disease such as cancer, acts as a generator of crisis in the family nucleus itself. The disease can be experienced by the family as a threat that distorts family routines and causes a need to adapt to this new situation of loss. The meanings given to illness significantly condition the family coping strategy and tends to generate changes in family communication. The objective of this research is to know the meanings given by the family to cancer disease and how this social and family disease representation affects family communication. In-depth interviews (semi-structured open interview) are the method used. The inter- views with relatives of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and assisted by the Department of Medical Oncology of the Institut Català d’ Oncologia Badalona (ICO Badalona, at Barcelona) are performed. Cancer usually has a negative meaning to families, linking the disease with death, which is why family beliefs and values generate a certain kind of family communication. The diagnosis of an oncologic disease causes changes in this communication and family dynamics motivated by perceptions and family expectations.

Keywords: family communication, cancer, meaning of illness, social representation, can- cer family

Resumen:

El diagnostico de una enfermedad como el cáncer, actúa como un elemento generador de crisis en el seno del núcleo familia, la enfermedad puede ser vivida como una amenaza que distorsiona las rutinas familiares y que provocará adaptación a esta nueva situación de pérdida. Los significados otorgados a la enfermedad condicionarán notablemente la estrategia de afrontamiento y suele generar alteraciones en la comunicación familiar. El objetivo de esta investigación es conocer los significados que la familia otorga al cáncer y como esta representación de la enfermedad condiciona su comunicación. En este estudio cualitativo, la entrevista en profundidad es el instrumento utilizado. Se entrevistan a familiares de pacientes diagnosticados de un cáncer de páncreas y se realiza un análisis interpretativo de contenido. Para los familiares, la enfermedad de cáncer suele tener un significado negativo, que vincula la enfermedad con la muerte, provocando éstas creencias y sus valores una comunicación familiar determinada. La aparición de una enfermedad oncológica genera cambios en esta comunicación y en la dinámica familiar motivados por las percepciones y expectativas familiares.

Palabras clave: comunicación familiar, cáncer, significado de la enfermedad, representa- ción social del cáncer, familia

Article info:

Received: 18/11/2014 / Received in revised form: 09/01/2015
Accepted: 20/01/2015 / Published online: 25/01/2015
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/comunitania.9.5

Quote as:

Riquelme Olivares, Mercè. "The representation of cancer in the ill person and their family. Their meanings involvement in family communication", Comunitania, International Journal of Social Work and Social Sciences, 2015, january, n. 9, pp. 119-136. http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/comunitania.9.5

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Technical Data

Title: "The representation of cancer in the ill person and their family. Their meanings involvement in family communication"
Author: Riquelme Olivares, Mercè
University: Universidad de Barcelona
Number:
Pages: "119-136"
Date: 2015, january
URL: http://www.comunitania.com/merce-riquelme-olivares-the-representation-of-cancer-in-the-ill-person-and-their-family-their-meanings-involvement-in-family-communication/
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/comunitania.9.5
Magazine: Comunitania, International Journal of Social Work and Social Sciences
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Quote as

Riquelme Olivares, Mercè. "The representation of cancer in the ill person and their family. Their meanings involvement in family communication", Comunitania, International Journal of Social Work and Social Sciences, 2015, january, n. 9, pp. 119-136. http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/comunitania.9.5