Exploring parent-sibling communication in families of children with sickle cell disease


Background: Communication within families of children with sickle cell disease is important yet has not been adequately investigated. Methods: Focus group interviews were conducted with parents of children with sickle cell disease to explore parent-sibling communication about sickle cell disease. Results: Communication was influenced by attributes and behaviors of the parent, the child with sickle cell disease, and the sibling; extended family, neighbors, friends, and church members or social networks; and available, accessible resources related to the child's health, child's school, and parent employment. Outcomes that influenced and were influenced by factors within and outside the parent-sibling dyad and nuclear family included parent satisfaction, parent roles, family intactness, and status attainment. Conclusions: These findings support previous research with African-American families and expand our views of the importance of educating parents, family members, and others about sickle cell disease. The findings suggest a need to explore sibling perception of this communication, parent and sibling perception of the impact of frequent hospitalizations and clinic visits on the sibling and family, and variations within families of children with sickle cell disease. © Informa UK, Ltd.

Publication Title

Comprehensive Child and Adolescent Nursing