Background: Resilience is a positive health outcome identified by the Committee on Future Direction for Behavioral and Social Sciences as a research priority for the National Institutes of Health. The Resilience in Illness Model (RIM) was developed from a series of qualitative and quantitative studies, to increase understanding of how positive health protective factors (ie, social integration, family environment, courageous coping, and derived meaning) may influence resilience outcomes. The RIM also includes 2 risk factors: illness-related distress and defensive coping.
Objective: The purpose of this 2-part article was to report on evaluation of the RIM for adolescents/young adults (AYAs) with cancer. Here, in part 1, our purpose was to describe the exploratory RIM evaluation, and in part 2 we describe the confirmatory RIM evaluation.
Methods: An exploratory evaluation of RIM was done using exploratory latent variable structural equation modeling with a combined sample from 2 studies of preadolescents and AYAs with cancer aged 10 to 26 years (n = 202).
Results: Results, including goodness-of-fit indices, support the RIM as a theory with a high level of explained variance for outcomes of resilience (67%) and self-transcendence (63%). Variance explained for proximal outcomes ranged from 18% to 76%.
Conclusions: Findings indicate that, following confirmatory testing, the RIM may be a useful guide to developing targeted interventions that are grounded in the experiences of the AYAs.
Implications for Practice: Understanding of the AYA cancer experience to improve holistic care is increased.