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

Journal title
Death studies
Publication year
2018
Author(s)
Eaton Russell, C.; Widger, K.; Beaune, L.; Neville, A.; Cadell, S.; Steele, R.; Rapoport, A.; Rugg, M.; Barrera, M.
Pages
184-194
Volume
42
Number
3

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.

Research abstracts