The Effects of Stress‑coping Strategies and Life Skills Trainings on the Mental Health and Academic Progress of Adolescent Cancer Patients: A Quasi‑experimental Study

Document Type : Original Article



Background: Cancer is a serious illness which can cause significant complications such as mental disorders. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effects of stress‑coping strategies (SCS) and life skills (LS) trainings on mental health and academic progress among adolescent cancer patients. Methods: This quasi‑experimental study was conducted on 120 Iranian adolescent cancer patients. Participants were randomly allocated to a control (n = 60) and an experimental group (n = 60). A demographic questionnaire and the General Health Questionnaire were used to collect data on adolescents’ mental health and grade point average (GPA) both before and after study intervention. A SCS and an LS training programs were held for the adolescents in the experimental group. However, adolescents in the control group received no training about the strategies and skills. The Chi‑square, the Fisher’s exact, as well as the independent‑ and the paired‑sample t‑tests were used for data analysis. Results: In the experimental group, the mean scores of the somatic symptoms, anxiety/insomnia, depression, and social dysfunction subscales of mental health were 8.91 ± 6.17, 10.33 ± 5.43, 15.33 ± 7.34, and 16.23 ± 3.61 at baseline and significantly decreased to 4.71 ± 2.51, 6.61 ± 2.62, 11.05 ± 2.84, and 12.31 ± 5.45, respectively (P < 0.05), while the mean GPA significantly increased after the study (P < 0.05). However, in the control group, neither mental health nor GPA changed significantly (P > 0.05). Conclusion: SCS and LS trainings can promote mental health and academic achievement among adolescent cancer patients.