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Death Stud. 2018 Mar;42(3):184-194. doi: 10.1080/07481187.2017.1334009. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

Siblings' voices: A prospective investigation of experiences with a dying child.

Author information

1
a Dr. Jay Children's Grief Centre , Research & Evaluation , Toronto , Ontario , Canada.
2
b Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing , University of Toronto , Toronto , Ontario , Canada.
3
c The Hospital for Sick Children , Paediatric Advanced Care Team , Toronto , Ontario , Canada.
4
d Department of Social Work , The Hospital for Sick Children , Toronto , Ontario , Canada.
5
e Department of Psychology, University of Calgary , Calgary , Alberta , Canada.
6
f School of Social Work , Renison University College , Waterloo , Ontario , Canada.
7
g School of Nursing, Faculty of Health , York University , Toronto , Ontario , Canada.
8
h Paediatric Advanced Care Team , The Hospital for Sick Children , Toronto , Ontario , Canada.
9
i Department of Family and Community Medicine , University of Toronto , Toronto , Ontario , Canada.
10
j Emily's House Children's Hospice , Paediatric Advanced Care Team , Toronto , Ontario , Canada.
11
k St. Joseph's Health Centre , Medicine and Seniors Care , Toronto , Ontario , Canada.
12
l Department of Psychology, Division of Hematology/Oncology , The Hospital for Sick Children , Toronto , Ontario , Canada.
13
m Institute of Medical Sciences and DLSPH , University of Toronto , Toronto , Ontario , Canada.

Abstract

Sibling relationships reflect a unique childhood bond, thus the impact on a sibling when a child is seriously ill or dying is profound. We conducted a prospective, longitudinal, qualitative study over 2 years using interpretive descriptive methodology to understand siblings' perspectives when a brother or sister was dying at home or in hospital. The insights from the 10 siblings revealed complex experiences, both personal and with the ill child, their families, and peers. These experiences were paradoxically sources of strain and of support, revealing the importance of validation and normalization in assisting siblings to successfully navigate the experience.

PMID:
28541834
DOI:
10.1080/07481187.2017.1334009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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