Background: When a child is diagnosed with cancer, parents face many logistical and emotional difficulties that can impact their relationship significantly. We aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the couple's communication skills on marital instability, marital adjustment, and the quality of couples with pediatric cancer.
Methods: The population of this quasi-experimental included all the parents of children with cancer in Ahvaz, Iran, from 2019- 2020. Samples of the study were selected using purposive sampling and randomly divided into two groups; one experimental (communication skills) (n=15), and one control (n=15). Both groups underwent 10 sessions of treatment for one-hour while the control group was not provided with any therapy from the second half of October until the second half of December 2020. The subjects were assessed before and after the treatment using the marital instability index (MII), the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), and the WHOQOL – BREF Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 23.0.
Results: The total sample included 30 couples, of which 35% were in the age group of 38-34 years, 35% were in the age group of 43-39 years, and 30% were in the age group of 44-48 years. The results of an analysis of covariance showed that training couples in communication skills had significant effects on reducing the parents’ Marital instability (f=88.14; P=0.001), increasing their Marital adjustment (f=13.88; P=0.001), and increasing their quality of life (f=12.93; P=0.001).
Conclusion: It seems that training couples in effective communication skills can reduce their marital instability, along with increasing their marital adjustment and quality of life.