Siblings of children with chronic kidney disease: A qualitative study of everyday life experiences

Hanne Agerskov*, Helle C. Thiesson, Birthe D. Pedersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Background: Chronic kidney disease in children has an impact on all family members. Healthy siblings, in particular, may experience negative psychological and emotional symptoms. Little attention has been paid to how they experience everyday family life and the impact of their sibling's disease. Objectives: To explore perspectives on and experiences of everyday life among siblings of children with chronic kidney disease. Design: An explorative study with a qualitative method. Participants: Seven siblings (7–13 years) of children with chronic kidney disease (5–16 years) were included. Approach: The study took a phenomenological–hermeneutical approach. Semistructured individual interviews were conducted. The data were analysed using Ricoeur's theory of narrative and interpretation, on three levels: naïve reading, structural analysis and critical interpretation and discussion. Findings: Three themes emerged: The illness is in the background or comes to the fore, being concerned for and taking care of the sick sibling and the importance of bonds with relatives or other significant adults. Conclusion: In everyday life, participants experienced that their sick sibling's illness was either in the background or came to the fore. They needed to adapt to periods of hospitalisation. They felt a need to be attentive to, take care of and have concern for the sick brother or sister. Conflicts caused feelings of loneliness; however, having knowledge about the disease provided security and meaning. Being introduced to the healthcare professionals was significant. It was important to have close relationships with friends and other adults, which gave rise to feelings of self-confidence and being supported.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Renal Care
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)242-249
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • chronic kidney disease
  • family
  • paediatric
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Adult
  • Family
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research
  • Child
  • Siblings


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