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The presence of a child afflicted with a life-threatening illness is a difficult situation for the child's siblings, especially when their own needs are left unmet. The present article describes the first three phases of research involved in the conceptualization, development, and content validation of an initial version of the Inventaire des Besoins de la Fratrie d'Enfants Malades Sévèrement (IBesFEMS) [Needs Inventory for Siblings of Critically ill Children].
The first phase of the development of this instrument was conducted using qualitative methodology (focus groups: 6 siblings, 8 parents). The second phase consisted of validating the content of a pool of items developed according to the needs identified in the first phase. Some 21 participants (3 psychometricians, 3 researchers, 9 clinicians, and 6 siblings) evaluated each item for relevance and clarity. Finally, during the third phase, the acceptability and administration procedures of the preliminary version of the instrument were assessed qualitatively by five siblings.
The first phase led to production of a typology made up of 43 needs in 10 different environments. The second phase allowed for selection of the items that were clearest and most relevant, based on expert opinion. This procedure gave rise to a first version of the IBesFEMS, which consisted of 48 items.
Significance of results:
The IBesFEMS appears to be a promising tool for specifically assessing the needs of the adolescent siblings of seriously ill children.
Life-threatening illnesses in children have a significant impact on the lives of their brothers and sisters. Consequently, special attention must be paid to the specific needs of these siblings to help them cope with their situations. To address this issue, we developed an inventory of the needs of the adolescent siblings of severely ill children, the Inventaire des Besoins de la Fratrie d'Enfants Malades Sévèrement (IBesFEMS) [Needs Inventory for Siblings of Critically Ill Children]. The present article describes a preliminary validation study of this new instrument.
In a prospective cohort study, the 48-item instrument was administered via a website or paper to 58 siblings.
Our study revealed that the measure has an estimated internal consistency of 0.96 and a temporal stability intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.86 (p < 0.01). Its convergence validity is also satisfactory.
Significance of results:
Our findings suggest that the IBesFEMS is highly relevant for pediatric palliative care clinicians and researchers. Future studies should investigate its factorial structure and predictive validities.
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