Aim of the present study is to describe the quality of life of brothers and sisters of a child with cancer and to predict it according to their ways of coping with the illness and the sibling's functioning before the diagnosis of cancer in the ill sibling. Methods: Participants were 83 siblings from 56 families, 46 were girls and 37 boys, aged 7 to 18. The assessment took place one month to 8 weeks after the diagnosis in the ill child. The children's quality of life was assessed with the TNO-AZL Children's Quality of Life Questionnaire (TAC-QOL). Coping strategies were assessed with the Cognitive Coping Strategies Scale for siblings (ccss-s). Physical problems and problems sleeping and eating that existed before the ill child was diagnosed, were determined in a structured interview with the parents. Results: A substantial number of the participating siblings reports an impaired quality of life, compared to the reference group. Problems were present in cognitive functioning and in the experience of more negative and less positive emotions, compared to peers. Besides, school aged siblings (7-11) report more trouble with motor functioning than their peers. The coping strategy 'predictive control', referring to the ability to maintain positive expectations regarding the illness, and the presence of problems in functioning before diagnosis, appear to predict the sibling's quality of life. Additionally, sibling age and sex and interpretative control are predictive of one particular quality of life domain. Conclusion: During the first two months following the diagnosis of cancer in a brother or sister, children risk having internalising problems, which in young children may also be expressed in impaired motor functioning. Physical complaints and problems eating and sleeping that existed before diagnosis, may be a predictor of later emotional problems. Children that maintain positive expectations about the course of the illness, more positively adapt to the stressful situation with respect to their emotional and cognitive functioning. The tendency not to avoid but to seek information about the illness, seems to co-occur with the experience of negative emotions in this acute phase of the illness. Therefore, it is highly important to guide parents in how they provide the well children with information about the illness.
|Vertaalde titel van de bijdrage||Quality of life and coping in brothers and sisters of children with cancer|
|Tijdschrift||Tijdschrift voor Kindergeneeskunde|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||3|
|Status||Gepubliceerd - jun. 2003|