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Keywords:

  • childhood chronic illness;
  • family;
  • siblings

Abstract

Objective  This study evaluated the Impact on Sibling scale, a six-item measure of parents' perception of the effects of a child's illness on healthy siblings.

Methods  Participants were 122 parents of a child with chronic illness, developmental disability, or autism spectrum disorder, and a well sibling aged 4–13 years. Parents completed the Impact on Sibling scale and the Child Behavior Checklist about the sibling, and completed the revised Impact on Family scale and the Brief Symptom Inventory about themselves.

Results  The Impact on Sibling score was correlated with measures of sibling, parent and family functioning. The internal consistency of the Impact on Sibling scale was higher for families with children with chronic illness compared with the other two diagnostic groups.

Conclusion  The Impact on Sibling scale is a brief set of items that can help identify siblings who are negatively affected by a brother/sister's illness. Findings support further research on the Impact on Sibling scale, particularly with families of children with chronic illnesses.