The Association of Resilience With Psychosocial Outcomes in Teenagers and Young Adults With Cancer

Katie Hughes, Clare Jacobson, Grace Lavelle, Ewan Carr, Susie M D Henley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is limited research on the psychological impact of cancer for teenagers and young adults (TYAs) and the role of protective factors like resilience. This study investigated associations between resilience and psychosocial outcomes in this group.

Data were collected from TYAs (aged 16-24) who attended the TYA cancer clinic at Guy’s Hospital between 2013 and 2021. Participants (N=63) completed psychosocial questionnaires within 4 weeks of their treatment start date (T1) and again between 9 and 15 months later (T2). We used separate multivariable linear regression models to analyse associations of resilience (Brief Resilience Questionnaire) with outcomes measured at T2, including symptoms of depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), and subjective quality of life. Models were adjusted for age, gender, ethnicity, and T1 outcome assessments.

Higher resilience at T1 was associated with increased anxiety (β = 1.68; Bootstrapped 95% CI [-0.28, 3.19]), depression (β = 1.24; [-0.85, 2.90]) and quality of life (5.76; [-0.88, 15.60]). In contrast, an increase in resilience over time was associated with decreases in the same period in anxiety (β = -3.16; [-5.22, -1.47]) and depression (β = -2.36, [-4.41, -0.58]) and an increase in quality of life (β = 9.82, [-0.24, 21.13]).

Increases in resilience during cancer treatment were associated with reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in TYAs. We discuss factors likely to influence these outcomes, the implications for psychosocial interventions in this population, and identify further research to explore the impact of other factors such as diagnosis and treatment type.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 17 Jul 2023


  • Teenager
  • Young Adult
  • Cancer
  • Resilience
  • Psychosocial


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