Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
MAGNANI, Claudia; OLIVEIRA, Bruna Guimarães and GONTIJO, Eliane Dias. Representations, myths, and behaviors among Chagas disease patients with pacemakers. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.23, n.7, pp. 1624-1632. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2007000700013.
This anthropological study aimed to evaluate the incorporation of pacemakers into the lives of individuals with Chagas disease. An ethnographic methodology was used, based on an open interview focusing on the personal perceptions of 15 patients with chronic Chagas cardiopathy who had required pacemaker implants at the Federal University Hospital in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. As part of a broader quality of life analysis, the study investigated the cultural, physical, and psychological resources used by patients to confront, explain, and accept the disease process, including mental representations on the cultural perception of the illness and definition of social relations. The study was intended to contribute to comprehensive patient care by health professionals, including psychosocial aspects. Decoded and integrated orientation in the cultural sphere assumes an important role in order to prevent disinformation from perpetuating the dissemination of popular myths as active elements in patient stigmatization.
Keywords : Chagas Disease; Artificial Pacemaker; Cultural Anthropology.