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Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2007 Apr;11(2):106-12; discussion 113-6. Epub 2006 Dec 1.

Experience of siblings of children treated for cancer.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Oncology, Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, SE-416 85 Göteborg, Sweden. margaretha.nolbris@vgregion.se


The aim was to obtain an understanding of the experience in everyday life of being a sibling when a brother or sister is receiving treatment for a cancer disease or has completed treatment. In order to illuminate the experience of the siblings themselves a phenomenological-hermeneutic method was used. Ten siblings were asked, in the form of a broad-based, open question, to tell about their experience of being the sibling of a brother or sister in this situation. There was an awareness of sibling-ship as a special relation since the brother or sister had got cancer. This feeling was very strong and close, and when needed the sibling admitted a protective and advocacy role. The siblings felt difficulties to always be loyal with the brother or sister needs and demands from other interests. They lived a new life and periods of ups and down following the condition of the brother or sister. Everyday life varied from joy to a life filled with worries and anxiety. Siblings experienced feelings of an existential nature, such as quality of life and death.

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