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The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to examine the effects of a self-help group on stressand coping among caregivers of children with cancer receiving chemotherapy. The sample consisted of caregivers of children with cancer admitted in the hospital, Songkhla province. Purposive sampling was used to divide the sample into a control group (n=25) and an experimental group (n=25). Data were collected using the demographic data form, stress questionnaire and coping strategies questionnaires. All questionnaires were tested for content validity by experts. The stress questionnaire was tested for reliability, yielding a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of .83 and the coping strategies questionnaire was test-retested for reliability, yielding a Pearson’s correlation coefficient .89. Pearson’s correlation coefficient of problem-focused coping, emotional-focused coping and palliative-focused coping were .77, .79 and .70 respectively. Data were analyzed usingdescriptive statistics, chi-square and t-test.
The results revealed that the mean score of stress in the experimental group after participating in theself-help group was significantly lower than that of before participating in a self-help group (p= .001). The mean score of stress in the experimental group after participating in the self-help group was significantly lower than that of the control group (p= .008). The mean score of problem-focused coping in the experimental group after participating in the self-help group was significantly higher than before participating in a self-helpgroup (p= .001). The mean score of the problem-focused coping in the experimental group after participating in the self-help group were significantly higher than that in the control group (p= .048).
Therefore, nurses should apply the self-help group process to decrease the stress and enhance problem-focused coping in these caregivers of children with cancer receiving chemotherapy.
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