Palliative Care Experts Study Grieving Siblings’ Psychological Welfare

Originally published in Bench to Bedside, the CHOP Research monthly publication

I composed this original article based on interviews with the investigators.


The experience of grieving for a dying brother or sister during childhood is something that the surviving siblings carry with them for the rest of their lives. Research conducted at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia suggests that the experience itself is not a source of serious psychological problems, despite many parents’ concerns that their healthy children could suffer lasting harm from the loss of their sibling. .

“The study comprises a small number of children, but indicates that kids honestly do OK,” said first author Lisa Humphrey, MD, medical director of palliative care at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, who performed the study during her fellowship at CHOP. “When we share this information with parents, this gives them a little glimmer of hope.”

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