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15-02-2018 | Uitgave 2/2018 Open Access

Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review 2/2018

Impact of Well-being Interventions for Siblings of Children and Young People with a Chronic Physical or Mental Health Condition: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review > Uitgave 2/2018
Mhairi McKenzie Smith, Snehal Pinto Pereira, Lynette Chan, Charlotte Rose, Roz Shafran
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10567-018-0253-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Siblings of children and young people with a chronic illness are at increased risk of poor psychological functioning. A number of studies have attempted to implement and evaluate interventions targeting the psychological well-being of this at-risk group. This systematic review summarises the evidence regarding psychological functioning of siblings following an intervention targeting their well-being. The meta-analysis considered behaviour and knowledge, two of the most frequently studied outcomes. The following databases were used: PsycINFO, EMBASE, CINAHL, PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science. Seventeen studies were eligible to be included in the systematic review and eight in the meta-analysis. Results from the systematic review reflected the inconsistency of intervention evaluations in this area with a high level of heterogeneity and a total of 23 outcomes considered across the 17 included studies. The meta-analysis estimated effect sizes using a standardised mean difference (SMD) approach. Pre-post analysis suggested significant improvement in behavioural outcomes and knowledge of their sibling’s health conditions with a SMD of − 0.44 [95% CI (− 0.6, − 0.29); p = 0.000] and 0.69 [(95% CI = 0.42, 0.96); p = 0.000], respectively. The SMD was not significant for behavioural outcomes when considering treatment–control studies. In conclusion, the findings suggest interventions for well-being have a positive effect on the psychological functioning of siblings of children and young people with a chronic illness, but their specificity needs to be established. There is a need for further, more methodologically robust research in this area.

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