Medical students act as Big Brothers/Big Sisters to support human immunodeficiency virus-infected children's psychosocial needs

James Tess, Claudia Baier, Edward J. Eckenfels, Ram Yogev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To address the special psychosocial and emotional needs and concerns of human immunodeficiency virus-infected children through a medical student-based Big Brother/Big Sister program. Design: A telephone survey of 9 medical students who participated in the program in the last 4 years was undertaken to assess their experiences and feelings about the program. Results: The experiences resulting from participation in the program were unanimously positive. The medical students stated that in no other medical setting were they able to develop a better understanding of the feelings and emotions of living with a terminal illness. The volunteers also believed that the program increased the benefits for the child and the medical student. Conclusions: Initial evaluation of the Big Brother/Big Sister program for human immunodeficiency virus-infected children suggests that it helped establish a strong, supportive relationship between the affected child and the medical student. A modified program in other medical schools may help to serve many other communities affected by the human immunodeficiency virus epidemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-192
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Volume151
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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