The significant effects of childhood cancer on siblings
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The significant effects of childhood cancer on siblings

Ashley Malone Children’s nursing student, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast
Jayne Price Senior teaching fellow, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast

Ashley Malone and Jayne Price discuss a narrative literature review of how young family members respond to a brother’s or sister’s diagnosis of cancer and subsequent treatment

Each year in the UK about 1,500 children are diagnosed with cancer. While survival rates have improved, about one fifth will die as a result of the disease. The uncertainty over whether a child will live or die while undergoing intensive treatment regimens has a significant effect on the child, parents and family. Much of the literature focuses on the effect of the illness on children and parents, but less is known about the needs of siblings. This article presents a narrative review examining the impact of a child’s cancer on siblings. Findings centred on four main themes: sibling adjustment and adaptation, emotional impact, siblings’ coping strategies and unmet needs. Finally, the implications for children’s oncology nursing practice are outlined.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 11, 4,26-31. doi: 10.7748/cnp2012.05.11.4.26.c9095

Correspondence

j.price@qub.ac.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

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