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J Fam Nurs. 2012 May;18(2):175-99. doi: 10.1177/1074840712439797. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

Perspectives of adolescent siblings of children with Down syndrome who have multiple health problems.

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  • 1Tricity Medical and Urgent Care, Pleasant Grove, UT, USA.


Authors of this qualitative descriptive study interviewed 21 adolescent siblings of children with Down syndrome (DS) who also had additional health problems rated as requiring extensive care by parents. Analysis revealed positive/negative aspects of the experience; however, participants emphasized the positive rather than negative experiences and focused more on the fact that the child had DS rather than health problems requiring additional care. Most said they would not change anything about their experience and did not believe the child with DS would ever live independently. They did, however, acknowledge their family was affected by the caregiving needs of the child which often required extra vigilance or specific care depending on the health problem. Information gained can help improve understanding of adolescent sibling perceptions about living with a child with DS who also requires additional care because of ongoing health problems so more appropriate and individualized nursing interventions can be provided.

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