Siblings' Farewell to a Stillborn Sister or Brother and Parents' Support to Their Older Children: A Questionnaire Study From the Parents' Perspective

J Child Health Care. 2010 Jun;14(2):151-60. doi: 10.1177/1367493509355621. Epub 2010 Mar 3.

Abstract

This study aims to capture parental descriptions of how siblings take leave of and mourn a stillborn brother or sister and how their parents support them. Data were collected by questionnaires from 16 parents of siblings to a stillborn child one year after the stillbirth. Data were analysed numerically for the multiple-choice questions and content analysis was used for parental comments and descriptions. The results describe siblings' farewell to a stillborn brother or sister and how their parents in the midst of their own grief were involved in supporting siblings' wellbeing, and observed their mourning reactions. Although the findings need to be interpreted with caution, they may provide insight that enables staff to become more sensitive to the whole family experience in the practice of their profession. Further research into siblings' grief and parental support after stillbirth is crucial so that further light may be shed on their situation.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Bereavement
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Grief*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Siblings / psychology*
  • Stillbirth / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires