Children and young people’s experiences of having a sibling with complex health needs: a literature review
evidence and practice    

Children and young people’s experiences of having a sibling with complex health needs: a literature review

Marie Grant Master’s student, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Patricia McNeilly Senior lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the effects that living with a sibling with complex health needs can have on children and young people

  • To enhance your understanding of the coping strategies and support that may be beneficial for siblings

  • To identify how the provision and availability of support for siblings and the whole family could be improved

Children with complex health needs require significant healthcare input for one or more conditions. Much of the literature on the effects of living with children with complex heath needs focuses on parents, and there is little research into the effects on siblings.

This article reports on a literature review that examined the experiences of siblings growing up with a brother or sister with complex health needs and how this affects their lives. Three main themes were identified: emotional experiences; coping strategies and support; and family life. The findings identified in relation to mixed emotions, coping strategies and support systems are similar to those of studies of siblings of autistic children and children with cancer. However, in most countries the provision and availability of support for this group of siblings is inadequate.

Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2021.e1326

Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

marie.grant@hse.ie

Conflict of interest

None declared

Grant M, McNeilly P (2021) Children and young people’s experiences of having a sibling with complex health needs: a literature review. Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2021.e1326

Published online: 14 June 2021

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Try 1 month’s access for just £1 and get:

Your subscription package includes:
  • Full access to the website and the online archive
  • Bi-monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal
Subscribe
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student
Already subscribed? Log in

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Or
}