Paper in Brain Injury
  • Sambuco, M., Brookes, N. & Lah, S. (2008) Paediatric traumatic brain injury: A review of siblings' outcome. Brain Injury, 22(1): 7-17.

    Primary objective: This review aimed to identify main findings and critically evaluate literature that considered sibling outcomes following paediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) sustained by a brother or sister.

    Methods: Qualitative and quantitative papers on the topic of TBI from PubMed and PsychINFO were reviewed. Identified literature was manually cross-referenced and all papers that identified siblings as the main subject of research or as secondary to research aims were included. Exploration of results and evaluation of studies that centred on sibling emotional/ behavioural response, sibling relationship changes, subjective lived experience post-injury and factors predictive of sibling outcomes was the modus operandi for analysis of identified literature.

    Main results: This review suggests that siblings of children who sustained severe TBI and have residual behavioural difficulties are at an increased risk of adverse psychological outcome. Moreover, they may experience many qualitative changes in their life. The generalization and interpretation of the findings, however, is limited by many methodological shortcomings, especially lack of prospective longitudinal design and measures of pre-morbid functioning.

    Conclusions: Theoretically driven, prospective, longitudinal research into sibling outcome following child TBI is a priority.