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Child Care Health Dev. 2006 Jan;32(1):19-31.

The psychosocial well-being of children with chronic disease, their parents and siblings: an overview of the research evidence base.

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1
Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Health, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK. j.barlow@coventry.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic disease of childhood may have implications for the psychosocial well-being of children and their families. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the current literature regarding the psychosocial well-being of children with chronic disease, their parents and siblings.

METHODS:

Electronic searches were conducted using AMED, CINAHL, Cochrane Database, DARE, HTA, MEDLINE, NHS EED, PsycLIT, PsycINFO and PubMED (1990 to week 24, 2004). Inclusion criteria were systematic reviews, meta-analyses and overviews based on traditional reviews of published literature. The titles of papers were reviewed, abstracts were obtained and reviewed, and full copies of selected papers were obtained.

RESULTS:

Six reviews of the psychosocial well-being of children were identified: three on chronic disease in general, one on asthma, one on juvenile idiopathic arthritis and one on sickle cell disease. Two reviews of psychosocial well-being among parents and two reviews of sibling psychosocial well-being were identified. Evidence from meta-analyses shows that children were at slightly elevated risk of psychosocial distress, although only a minority experience clinical symptomatology. The proportion that experience distress remains to be clarified, as do contributory risk factors. Few conclusions can be drawn from the two reviews of parents. However, a meta-analysis of siblings showed that they are at risk from a number of negative effects.

CONCLUSION:

This overview has highlighted the need to extend the evidence base for psychosocial well-being of children, parents and siblings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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