Date of Award

Fall 1986

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nursing

Abstract

The purpose of this essay is to provide guidelines to assist parents in explaining their child's chronic illness to their other healthy children. Inadequate information about a sibling's illness can cause unnecessary upset in, the healthy child as they spin fantasies to fill the void of their understanding. Children need to be protected from the overwhelming fear of the unknown. Based on the lack of available resources enabling parents to give age-appropriate information about illness to their children, and on parental requests for such resources, a pamphlet was developed containing guidelines on age-appropriate communication with siblings of the sick child. The guidelines are based on a review of the literature in two areas : a ) family communication during chronic childhood illness, and b) the cognitive and psychosocial development of the child.

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