Sibling Care in Pediatric Hospitals by Certified Child Life Specialists
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Human Development and Family Science Honors Theses; 2013
Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) assist pediatric patients to promote optimal coping during hospitalization. CCLS provide play, prepare children for medical procedures, and aid in the coping of patients and their families. Recently the field of child life has expanded to include care for siblings of patients, the hospitalization of a sibling is ranked as one of the top stress inducing events for a child. This research specifically aims to uncover the type of care provided to siblings in hospitals by CCLS. While current literature exists regarding sibling needs, there is little information regarding the existence of sibling programs and the interventions CCLS use to help siblings cope The purpose of this study is to ascertain the psychosocial needs of siblings through a review of current scholarly literature, ascertain the care provided to siblings by CCLS, and uncover gaps in care between what is deemed necessary in the literature and the care that presently takes place in hospitals. To address the latter, I created a survey to assess the current state of sibling programs and interventions used in U.S. and Canadian hospitals. The survey was sent to CCLS across the U.S. and Canada through the use of a national list-serv. The study concluded that there is a high prevalence of sibling programs in medical institutions throughout the United States and Canada. Of the programs represented in the present study, 64% have programs focused specifically on siblings. Focuses of these sibling programs are on education for the siblings as well as on emotional expression for the siblings. Both education and emotional expression were deemed as important by the literature. No real gaps in care for siblings were found. There were, however, areas that the literature deemed important, but were not commonly used by the respondents of the study, including the use of support groups and activities to help children cope with disruption in daily activities. It is the intention of this research that the findings will prompt CCLS nationally to examine their programs to determine how to better meet the needs of siblings to positively affect their experience, coping and emotions during a pediatric illness.
Denman Undergraduate Research Forum Honorable Mention
Academic Major: Human Development and Family Science
College of Education and Human Ecology Undergraduate Research Scholarship