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This descriptive study aimed to examine coping strategies of children undergoing cancer therapy and compare coping strategies classified by gender, age, type of cancer, Illness duration and treatment. The samples were 209 children with cancer who admitted in a tertiary hospital or received chemotherapy at patient department. A demographic data questionnaire and the Thai version of the Coping of Disease Inventory (Thai version of CODI) were used to collect data. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for the Thai version of CODI was .88. Descriptive statistics, independent t-test, and the Mann-Whitney U test were used in data analysis.
The results revealed that 53.1 percent of the study sample were school-age children (9-12 years old), and 46.9 percent were adolescents (13-18 years old). More than half of the participants were male (64.6 %). The coping strategies significantly differed according to gender, age group, type of cancer, illness duration, and treatment. The mean rank scores of emotional reactions of females were higher than males (z = -2.18, p=.029). The mean scores of cognitive palliatives, acceptances, and distances (t = -4.15, -3.15, -2.41, p<.05,respectively) and the mean rank scores of avoidances (z = -3.31, p =.001) of adolescents were higher than that of school-aged children. The mean rank scores of avoidances of leukemic children were higher than
children with other types of cancer (z = -2.27, p =.023). The mean scores of cognitive palliatives (t = 2.19, p =.029) and the mean rank scores of avoidances (z = -1.99, p =.046) of illness duration lower or equal to one year were higher than illness duration more than one year). The mean scores of distances of children receiving chemotherapy were higher than those receiving combination therapy (t = 2.92, p =.004). This study provides useful information for nurses to enhance intervention programs that promote the coping ability of school-age children and adolescents with cancer.
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