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Siblings' experiences of their brother's or sister's cancer death: a nationwide follow-up 2-9years later
Karolinska Inst, Childhood Canc Res Unit, Dept Womens & Childrens Hlth, S-17176 Stockholm, Sweden.;Dalarna Univ, Sch Educ Hlth & Soc, Falun, Sweden..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences. Visby Lasarett, Oncol Unit, Visby, Sweden..
Dalarna Univ, Sch Educ Hlth & Soc, Falun, Sweden..
Karolinska Univ Hosp, Dept Oncol Pathol, Stockholm, Sweden.;Sahlgrens Acad, Dept Oncol, Gothenburg, Sweden..
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2016 (English)In: Psycho-Oncology, ISSN 1057-9249, E-ISSN 1099-1611, Vol. 25, no 4, 435-440 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to examine siblings' experiences of their brother's or sister's cancer death and if these experiences influenced levels of anxiety 2-9years later. MethodsThis nationwide survey was conducted in Sweden in 2009. All siblings who had a brother/sister who was diagnosed with cancer before the age of 17years and who died before the age of 25years during 2000-2007 were invited. Of those, 174 siblings participated (participation rate: 73%). Mixed data from the survey about the siblings' experiences of death were included as well as data from the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. To examine the experiences, descriptive statistics and content analysis were used. Mann-Whitney U-test was conducted to investigate if the experiences influenced anxiety 2-9years later. ResultsThe siblings reported poor knowledge and experienced a lack of communication about their brother's/sister's death, for example, about the time frame, bodily changes near death, and about their own experiences. Siblings who reported that no one talked with them about what to expect when their brother/sister was going to die reported higher levels of anxiety 2-9years after the loss. Seventy percent reported that they witnessed their brother/sister suffering in the last hours in life. Many of those who were not present during the illness period and at the time of death expressed regret. ConclusionIt is important to prepare siblings for their brother's/sister's illness and death as it may decrease anxiety and regrets later on.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 25, no 4, 435-440 p.
National Category
Cancer and Oncology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-300318DOI: 10.1002/pon.3941ISI: 000373905700007PubMedID: 26260031OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-300318DiVA: diva2:951296
Swedish Childhood Cancer FoundationSwedish Cancer SocietySwedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-08-08 Created: 2016-08-08 Last updated: 2016-08-08Bibliographically approved

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