Siblings' Needs and Issues When a Brother or Sister Dies of Cancer

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, SE-416 85 Göteborg, Sweden.
Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing (Impact Factor: 0.9). 07/2005; 22(4):227-33. DOI: 10.1177/1043454205274722
Source: PubMed


To explore siblings'needs and issues when a brother or sister dies of cancer, interviews were conducted with 10 surviving children and young adults. The siblings expressed dissatisfaction with the information they had received and said that they had not felt involved in the dying process with the exception of the terminal period. The siblings stated that their dissatisfaction would have been reduced if doctors and nurses had provided continuous information and support. Loneliness, anxiety, anger, and jealousy were common feelings that they expressed. Friends and school were important to the siblings, representing a normal environment free from the domination of sickness. The siblings also expressed that they needed to mourn in their own way including periods of time when they did not mourn. The absence of the dead sibling was felt particularly during family celebrations. The siblings continued to have special memories and objects, and all still included the dead sibling as a member in the family.

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