Navigation Links
Children experience differing changes one year after a sibling's death from cancer
Date:11/15/2011

The majority of children experience personal changes and changes in relationships one year after their sibling has died from cancer; however, positive and negative changes are not universal. These are the findings from the first study published online November 3, 2011 in Cancer Nursing to examine changes in siblings after the death of a brother or sister to cancer from three different perspectives: mothers, fathers and siblings.

Nearly 60,000 children under the age of 20 die each year in the United States and Canada, leaving behind an estimated 480,000 grieving siblings over the past 10 years. Yet, limited research has examined the frequency and nature of changes experienced by siblings after the death of a brother or sister from cancer.

"Studies of bereaved siblings have occurred two months to seven years post-death, but seldom within a year," said Cynthia A. Gerhardt, PhD, principal investigator in the Center for Biobehavioral Health at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital and one of the study authors. "Also, rarely are mothers', fathers' and sibling perspectives included in the same study, which allows us to understand sibling grief within the family context."

To address this gap in the literature, Dr. Gerhardt and colleagues interviewed 40 families as part of a multi-site longitudinal study following the death of a child from cancer. During the study, siblings were asked to describe how they have changed since their brother/sister's death. Parents also were asked how the sibling has changed.

Findings showed that the majority of family members perceived that siblings experienced personal changes and changes in relationships after the death. However, change was not universal. Most participants reported either positive or negative changes in siblings' personality rather than both positive and negative.

Siblings reported greater maturity as the most common personal change. More than twice as many siblings reported greater compassion and changes in life priorities than their parents reported for them. Parents reported negative changes in siblings such as being sad, angry, withdrawn or fearful of experiencing another death more often than the siblings did themselves.

A new finding emerged indicating that bereaved siblings were motivated by their deceased brothers or sisters. This finding was unique, as siblings' motivation seemed to stem from an internal desire to be more like their deceased brothers or sisters.

Siblings reported changes in peer relationships more frequently than parents, suggesting that parents may not be as attuned to the effects on important social relationships relative to observable changes in the sibling's personality or emotional well-being.

"There were some differences the kinds of changes parents and children perceived in the siblings," said Dr. Gerhardt, also with The Ohio State University College of Medicine. "Our findings suggest that the assessment of sibling grief responses should involve direct communication not only with parents, but also with siblings."

She says that healthcare providers may encourage families to discuss possible changes that siblings can experience after the death of a sibling. Families may benefit from knowing the positive nature of siblings' reports and by knowing that the death of a brother or sister is profound for some siblings. Providers can provide reassurance that change may not be universal to all bereaved siblings and that the range of positive and negative responses is part of the grief process.

Dr. Gerhardt warns that these findings might not be generalizable to all bereaved siblings as participants in this study were primarily White, English-speaking and included families whose children died of cancer.

"More research is needed to further our understanding of sibling grief in response to other types of loss," she said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Erin Pope
Erin.Pope@NationwideChildrens.org
614-355-0495
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Flu Hits 90 Million Children Under 5 Each Year
2. Iowa State study finds health value to children of National School Lunch Program
3. Black Children Less Likely to Get Kidney Transplant Before Dialysis
4. Autistic Children May Have Too Many Brain Cells
5. UH Rainbow Babies & Childrens Hospital begins studies on vitamin D to prevent heart disease
6. Spinal bleeding with brain injury may suggest abuse in young children
7. The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia receives Grand Challenges Explorations funding
8. Landmark survey reveals that most women who are done having children do not discuss their options with their OB/GYNs
9. Why did healthy children fall critically ill in the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic?
10. New interventions, recommendations for controlling allergies & asthma in children
11. Body weight, sleep-disordered breathing and cognition linked in children
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/23/2017)... ... September 23, 2017 , ... “You Can't Win Them All”: ... in their business ventures and on the ice changed the lives of young athletes. ... Cosimo Filane was born and educated in Schreiber, a small town in Northern ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... On Sunday, September 24, hundreds will gather at ... Joyner, still considered the fastest woman of all time. Flo Jo passed away ... will sing the National Anthem. Mary was a contestant on the 2012 season ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... Fenwick Agency of Plano, ... communities they serve as part of the nationally recognized ‘Agents of Change’ movement. The ... nonprofit organizations and community leaders to seek out those who most need help. Their ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... After ... a senior finds a new lease on life with assistance from CreditAssociates. CreditAssociates ... resolve their problem with unsecured debt. The senior is one of the satisfied ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... SABRE ... Scholarship Sweepstakes.,  , Molli C., a graduate student from Sonora, California, who will ... Administration at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida, was selected from a pool ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/7/2017)... NuvoAir (formerly called Pond Healthcare Innovation), ... partnership with Novartis Pharma AG to distribute NuvoAir,s spirometry technology ... leading mobile spirometry platform and Novartis, commitment to address the ... ... ...
(Date:9/6/2017)... , Sept. 6, 2017  Medical professionals ... and skills while treating their patients. Medical ... experience without involving patients. Simulation provides a ... can carry out procedures, refine techniques and ... Integration of new technology, such as augmented ...
(Date:9/5/2017)... Sept. 5, 2017 Sapheneia and Scannerside received ... Scannerside DoseCheck is a third-party Vendor neutral CT product ... and allows compliance with current MITA standards. ... 29 DoseCheck solution is specifically designed to provide CT ... potential radiation doses over a predefined threshold. Scannerside Dose ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: