Sibcare: An Interactive Assessment Tool for Siblings of Hospitalized Children

ABSTRACT Sibcare: An Interactive Assessment Tool for Siblings of Hospitalized Children By Marialejandra Gutierrez The complexity of a pediatric hospitalization and illness significantly impacts the lives of siblings. Although existing research discusses the common challenges experienced by siblings of pediatric patients, little research exists on interventions or tools that focus on addressing the individual needs and issues they experience. SIBcare, an interactive assessment tool, was designed to help Child Life professionals become familiar with siblings of pediatric patients, assess their needs and concerns, as well as facilitate positive coping and adjustment. By identifying the individual needs and concerns of siblings, Child Life professionals are better prepared to provide appropriate interventions and support services to siblings to facilitate positive coping and adjustment. SIBcare was presented to and evaluated by three Certified Child Life Specialists. The external reviewers used the Master’s Thesis Project: Criteria for External Reviewers to structure their feedback and critique. A score of 4 representing “very effective”, “yes”, “needs are very well reflected”, and “very accessible” were given for all four numerical items on the evaluation form. Comments and feedback revealed the following four common themes associated with the quality of the project: family-centered care, developmental levels and interests, importance and inclusion of siblings, and educating siblings. It is intended that this research project and the reviewers’ feedback will prompt Child Life professionals to implement an assessment tool to better meet the individual needs of siblings of pediatric patients.