Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Siblings of children with cancer feel left out

22.05.2009
Siblings of cancer victims often feel left out and have nobody to share their grief with. However, the illness may help strengthen the bond between a healthy and a cancer-stricken sibling.

This is shown in a doctoral thesis at the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Three hundred Swedish children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every year.

'The illness always brings anxiety and grief to the family. Everybody seems to focus on the ill child, and my thesis is the first large study on how the siblings experience and manage the situation', says Margaretha Nolbris, nurse, who interviewed 35 siblings of children who were being treated/had been treated

for or had died of cancer. The interviewed siblings were 8-36 years old.

The siblings reported feeling grief for many reasons, for example because their brother or sister had suffered so much pain or because they wondered why their brother or sister had to become ill. They also felt sad that the ill sibling had lost so much time from his or her childhood or adolescent years.

'But they felt like they had nobody to share these thoughts with. In situations where the thoughts of an ill brother or sister get too difficult, they try to either think positively or not think at all', says Nolbris.

The study also found that the unspoken threat of the illness may strengthen the bond between the siblings, and neither parents nor friends are included in this relationship.

The thesis shows that the siblings experience anticipatory grief related to the risk of losing a close person as soon as the diagnosis has been made. This grief persists throughout the entire course of treatments and follow-up checks.

'Parents and medical personnel should remember to involve siblings as soon as a diagnosis has been made, and then keep them informed and updated about the illness, treatments and the ill child's status. To help siblings work through their thoughts and experiences, they should be offered counselling, both one-on-one and in a group with other people who are in the same situation', says Nolbris.

The siblings whose brother or sister had died of cancer saw the event as very unnatural and said they were not prepared, even if the brother or sister had been very ill. Life often turned into chaos and siblings often had difficulties understanding their own reactions. The grief process could not be controlled and it was sometimes necessary to take a break from grieving by doing something else, such as do a hobby or go to school, work or a party.

For more information, please contact:
Margaretha Nolbris, registered nurse, ph: +46-31-786 60 79, +46-73-983 87 37, email

Doctoral thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Institute of Health and Care Sciences.

Title of the thesis: Being a sibling of a child or young person with a cancer - Thoughts, needs, problems and support.

Link to thesis: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/19053

Information officer: Elin Lindström Claessen
elin.lindstrom@gu.se
+46 31 786 3869
The thesis consists of the following papers:
I Nolbris, M., Hellström, A-L. (2005). Siblings' needs and issues when a brother or sister dies of cancer. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, 22, 4, 227-233.
II Nolbris, M., Enskär, K., Hellström, A-L. (2007). Experience of siblings of children treated for cancer. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 11, 106-112.
III Nolbris, M., Enskär, K., Hellström, A-L. (2008). Thoughts related to the experience of being the sibling of a child with cancer. (Submitted)
IV Nolbris, M., Olofsson, L., Abrahamsson, J., Hellström, A-L., Enskar, K. (2008)

The experience of therapeutic support group by siblings of children with cancer (Submitted)

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/19053
http://www.sahlgrenska.gu.se/aktuellt/nyheter/Nyheter+Detalj?contentId=881554

Further reports about: Oncology Siblings of children cancer-stricken sibling

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

nachricht How to turn white fat brown
07.12.2016 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>