A scoping review on the study of siblings in pediatric pain

Meghan G. Schinkel, Christine T Chambers, Jill Hayden, Abbie Jordan, Justine Dol, Kristen S. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Sibling relationships are longstanding across an individual’s life, and are influential in children’s development. The study of siblings in pediatric pain is, although in early stages, a growing field. Aims: This scoping review sought to summarize and map the type of research available examining siblings and pediatric pain, to identify gaps and directions for future research. Methods: Studies were identified based on a search of PubMed, CINAHL, PsycInfo, Embase, and Web of Science (up to November 2016). We extracted data about
study methods, the sample, outcome assessment, and the influence/relationships investigated. Results: Thirty five studies were included. Most studies used quantitative methods (n = 28), and participants typically
comprised children (i.e., aged 6-12; n = 24) and adolescents (i.e., aged 13-18; n = 18). The majority of studies examined siblings in the context of chronic and disease-related pain (n = 30). While quantitative studies primarily focused on the genetic influence of pain conditions (n = 18), qualitative and mixed methods studies typically focused on exploring the impact of siblings with and without pain on one another (n = 2), and the impact of pain on the broader dyadic relationship/functioning (n = 4). Conclusions: Sibling research in pediatric pain has been primarily focused on the biological/physical components of pain, using quantitative approaches. Conducting more studies using qualitative or mixed-methods designs, incorporating multiple assessment measures (e.g., observational, self-report) and multiple perspectives (e.g., siblings, health
professionals) may provide an opportunity to gain richer and more comprehensive information regarding the experience of siblings .
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-215
JournalCanadian Journal of Pain
Issue number1
Early online date1 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • siblings, pediatric pain, families, children, scoping review


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