Experiences of School-Age Siblings of Children with a Traumatic Injury: Changes, Constants, and Needs
Mary Jo Bugel
School-age siblings experience a traumatic injury to their brothers or sisters in unique ways, yet little research has been undertaken regarding the sibling perspective. Understanding what it is like to be a well school-age sibling of a child with a traumatic injury is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to describe and understand the experience of being a well school-age sibling of a child recovering from a traumatic injury. Phenomenology was the method of inquiry used. Interviews were conducted with seven school-age siblings ranging in age from eight to 12 years, and were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using traditional qualitative techniques (Ely, Anzul, Friedman, Garner, & Steinmetz, 1991). Identification of patterns and themes common to the experience were identified and described. Two major themes that emerged were the changes and constants that this experience brought to the siblings. The selfexpressed needs of the siblings important to health professionals regarding communication and individual identity are shared. Research-based implications for the clinical practice of pediatric nursing are presented.