2010-03-25Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2010.01085.x
Impact of a family-oriented rehabilitation programme on behavioural and emotional problems in healthy siblings of chronically ill children
Objective: To evaluate the impact of a family-oriented inpatient rehabilitation programme on behavioural and emotional problems in healthy siblings of chronically ill children and to assess the association between these problems and quality of life. Methods: A total of 259 healthy children (4–16 years,M = 8.6 years, SD = 3.3) with a chronically ill sibling were enrolled in the study. Parents filled in the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, while the children answered a self-report quality of life instrument (LQ-KID) at the time of admission and discharge from the clinic and at a 6-month follow-up. Comparisons were performed with a matched control group from the German general population (n = 777). Results: Significant behavioural or emotional symptoms were found in 30.5% of the healthy siblings, the relative risk of having elevated scores being 2.2 compared with the control group. Symptoms were inversely correlated with quality of life (r = -0.42). During the inpatient rehabilitation, symptoms decreased significantly to a normal level. Similarly, quality of life significantly improved, except in the dimension family relations. Conclusions: Family-oriented inpatient rehabilitation is a promising approach to improve the mental health of children with a chronically ill sibling.
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