Information needs of the siblings of critically ill children

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Child Health Care

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Children's health care

PubMed ID



This study explored parental and sibling perceptions and feelings about sibling information needs during a pediatric admission to an intensive care unit (ICU). Using a qualitative research design, parents (n = 14) and school-age siblings (n = 12) of children who were patients in ICU were interviewed using open-ended questions. Themes of information that the parents report having given to the siblings were similar to the themes that siblings report having heard. However, parents reported that the siblings had numerous questions about the reasons for hospitalization and expectations for the future of the family. The findings indicate that parents may neither be aware of the effects of the ICU experience on the siblings nor have the knowledge and skill to assist them. Parents may need counseling to increase their awareness of the siblings' need for information and teaching to increase skill in providing the information.


Child, Child, Hospitalized/psychology, Child, Preschool, Communication, Counseling, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Intensive Care Units, Pediatric, Interviews as Topic, Midwestern United States, Nuclear Family/psychology, Parent-Child Relations, Patient Admission

Published Article/Book Citation

Children's health care, 24:1 (1995) pp.47-60.

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