The needs of siblings of children with cancer: A nursing perspective

Document Type


Publication Date



Findings from research studies on the needs of siblings of children with cancer have highlighted the imperative that these siblings be supported and involved in the plan of care when a diagnosis of cancer is made. However, few studies have included the perspective of the nurse when evaluating sibling needs or identifying interventions used to meet the needs. This qualitative descriptive study used a combination of individual interviews and a focus group to capture perspectives from 13 pediatric oncology nurses employed at a leading Children’s Hospital located in the northeast. Transcripts were analyzed for content and theme in relation to the 2 research questions. Needs identified included getting attention, wanting to know, having fears/worries, feeling at fault, wanting to help, and wanting a normal routine, whereas interventions identified included recognizing their needs, getting siblings involved, sharing appropriate information, being a resource, giving support, and bending the rules. Findings support previous studies that document the variety of needs experienced by siblings of children with cancer and offer examples of nursing interventions to meet these needs.


Copyright 2012 Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses, published by Sage

A link to full text has been provided for authorized users.

Publication Title

Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing

Published Citation

O’Shea, E. R., Shea, J., Robert, T., & Cavanaugh, C. (2012). The needs of siblings of children with cancer: A nursing perspective. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, 29(4), 221-231. doi:10.1177/1043454212451365.



Peer Reviewed