Challenges and perspectives of mothers of children with microcephaly due to Zika virus infection

Keywords: Zika Virus; Mothers; Microcephaly; Child.


Objective: to understand the challenges and perspectives of mothers of children with microcephaly due to Zika virus infection. Methods: qualitative study carried out with twelve mothers of children with microcephaly due to Zika virus at a pediatric public hospital. Data were collected through a semi-structured interview and submitted to content analysis. Results: the speeches revealed the mothers were mostly unaware of the occurrence of Zika virus infection in pregnancy, and the moment of diagnosis was characterized by surprise and suffering, despite the observed overcoming. Many of them did not know the meaning of microcephaly and did not know what changes and limitations their children might have. In describing the difficulties in caring for the child, mothers attached to spirituality as a form of coping. Conclusion: microcephaly brought a new reality to the investigated women, who sometimes denied their own reality, demonstrating in the speeches many challenges and few perspectives.


Schuler-Faccini L, Ribeiro EM, Feitosa IML, Horovitz DDG, Cavalcanti DP, Pessoa A, et al. Possible association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly - Brazil, 2015. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2018 Jun 7];65(3):59-62. Available from:

Flor CJDRV, Guerreiro CF, Anjos JLM. Neuropsicomotor development in children with microconfalia associated with Zika virus. Rev Pesq Fisio. 2017; 7(3):313-8. doi:

Ventura CV, Maia M, Ventura BV, Linden VVD, Araújo EB, Ramos RC, et al. Ophthalmological findings in infants with microcephaly and presumable intra-uterus Zika virus infection. Arq Bras Oftalmol. 2016; 79(1):1-3. doi:

Marinho F, Araújo VEM, Porto DL, Ferreira HL, Coelho MRS, Lecca RCR et al. Microcephaly in Brazil: prevalence and characterization of cases from the Information System on Live Births (Sinasc), 2000-2015. Epidemiol Serv Saúde. 2016; 25(4):701-12. doi:

Vagas A, Saad E, Dimech GS, Santos RH, Sivini MAVC, Albuquerque LC, et al. Characteristics of the first cases of microcephaly possibly related to Zika virus reported in the Metropolitan Region of Recife, Pernambuco State, Brazil. Epidemiol Serv Saúde. 2016; 25(4):691-700. doi:

Rego S, Palacios M. Ethics, global health and Zika virus infection: a view from Brazil. Rev Bioét. 2016; 24(3):430-4. doi:

Oliveira MC, Sá SM. The parental experience after Zika virus microcephaly diagnosis: a case study. Rev Pesq Fisio. 2017; 7(4):64-70. doi:

Minayo MCS. O desafio do conhecimento: pesquisa qualitativa em saúde. São Paulo: Hucitec; 2014.

Gonçalves AE, Tenório SDB, Ferraz PCS. Socioeconomic aspects of genitors of children with microcefalia related to Zika Virus. Rev Pesq Fisio. 2018; 8(2):155-63. doi:

Brunoni D, Blascovi-Assis SM, Osório AAC, Seabra AG, Amato CAH, Teixeira MCTV et al. Microcephaly and other Zika virus related events: the impact on children, families and health teams. Ciênc Saúde Coletiva. 2016; 21(10):3297-302. doi:

Martins EMC, Ataíde MBC, Silva DMA, Frota MA. Experience of mothers in the care of children with type 1 diabetes. Rev Rene [Internet]. 2013 [cited Jun 13, 2018]; 14(1):42-9. Available from:

Barros SMM, Monteiro PLM, Neves MB, Maciel GTS. Fortalecendo a rede de apoio de mães no contexto da síndrome congênita do vírus zika: relatos de uma intervenção psicossocial e sistêmica. Nova Perspect Sist [Internet]. 2017 [citado 2018 jun 13]; 26(58):38-59. Disponível em:

Cerqueira MMF, Alves RO, Aguiar MGG. Experiences in the therapeutic itineraries of mothers of children with intellectual disabilities. Ciênc Saúde Coletiva. 2016; 21(10):3223-32. doi:

Guerra CS, Dias MD, Ferreira Filha MO, Andrade FB, Reichert APS, Araújo VS. From the dream to reality: experience of mothers of children with disabilities. Texto Contexto Enferm. 2015; 24(2):459-66. doi:

Silva EHP, Girão ERC, Cunha ACB. Father coping face to the congenital malformation of son before and after the birth. Estud Pesq Psicol [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2018 Jun 13];16(1):180-99. Available from:

Medeiros VAB, Bezerra INS, Alves LT, França AMB. Assistência de enfermagem ao neonate com microcefalia. Ciên Biol Saúde Unit [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2018 oct 18]; 4(2):67-76. Disponível em:

Galli B. Where is the right to abortion? Comment on the documentary Zika, The Film. Cad Saúde Pública. 2016; 32(6):1-2. doi:

Pedroso CNLS, Félix MA. Percepção dos pais diante do diagnóstico e da abordagem fisioterapêutica de crianças com paralisia cerebral. Rev Ciênc Saúde [Internet.] 2014 [cited 2018 Jun 10];7(2):61-70. Available from:

Research Article