Maternal Perspectives of Well Siblings’ Adjustment to Family Life With a Technology-Dependent Child

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Abstract

Technology-dependent (TD) children require complex care and are dependent on medical technology. Approximately 75% of families, in the United States, who are caring for a TD child, also care for a well child. Well siblings are likely to be affected by the experience of living with a TD sibling as the process of family normalization is described as a family affair. The experiences of well siblings are not well described. The purpose of this qualitative analysis was to describe the experiences of well siblings who are living in a family with a TD child. Mothers were interviewed about the experiences of their well children and were digitally audio recorded. The interviews were transcribed, and content analysis was conducted. Content analysis from the interviews revealed the major themes of well sibling adjustment within the family unit, upside (altruistic, prosocial behaviors) and downside (negative internal and external processing behaviors). These results can be applied to advance the delivery of family nursing care offered to these families.

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