Drawing pain for children with sickle cell anemia: the pain that hurts, really hurts

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Painful crises are part in the evolution of sickle cell anemia, is the more dramatic picture of variable intensity and location, caused by chronic hemolysis and vaso-occlusion, which alter the daily life of the patients. The objective of this study was to understand, by means of drawing, the repercussions and the coping strategies in situations caused by the painful crises of the sickle cell anemia, from the children’s perspective. METHODS: Exploratory, qualitative study, carried out in a pediatric referral hospital of Ceará, with five children diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. Data collection was performed from May to July 2016, by means of observations and drawings-story by Trinca. In the analysis, it was used the analysis of drawings content by Coutinho. RESULTS: Two categories emerged: the pain that hurts and coping with pain. Every child identified its bigger meaning, evoking the repercussions of pain as the most striking element and more present in its life. CONCLUSION: In face of the sufferings confronted by children with sickle cell anemia, it is necessary to create strategies that promote the implementation of public policies to prevent crises and treat the disease, modifying the course of the disease and improving the quality of life.