Needs and concerns of siblings in pediatric palliative care: scoping review


  • Filipa Martins Silva Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Centro Materno-Infantil do Norte, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário do Porto; Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto


adolescent, child, emotional adjustment, palliative care, sibling


Introduction: Understanding the needs of each family member in the setting of Pediatric Palliative Care is crucial. Sibling support is still an emerging area, with recommendations based on clinical experience and adaptation from other contexts. The aim of this study was to assess and describe the needs and concerns of siblings of children in Pediatric Palliative Care.

Methods: A literature search was conducted in Medline database. Only research articles with reports of siblings of children in Palliative Care were included. The main characteristics and results of studies included were summarized, and a narrative synthesis was performed.

Results: Nine studies were included showing that, although siblings’ needs vary over the course of the disease, these generally include the need for self-support, access to information, and engagement in brother/sister care. Bereaved siblings are usually resilient, but poor-quality support can have a negative psychosocial impact.

Discussion and Conclusion: Siblings need informational, instrumental, appraisal, and emotional support. Quantitative prospective studies are needed, as well as accurate clinical practice recommendations taking into account the specificities of each child, family, and sibling.


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How to Cite

Martins Silva F. Needs and concerns of siblings in pediatric palliative care: scoping review. REVNEC [Internet]. 2021Dec.27 [cited 2022Aug.15];30(4):226-33. Available from:



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