PURPOSE: This study aimed to investigate the influence of resilience and symptom experience on quality of life. METHODS: Seventy five patients in an active treatment stage were recruited from 2 hospitals between October and December 2010. A survey including perceived health status, physical functional status, the symptom experience index, resilience, and the functional assessment of cancer therapy-colorectal (FACT-C) was completed. RESULTS: The level of FACT-C was 86.61 (+/-18.91), which was higher than for patients with colostomy, but lower than for patients in a rehabilitation stage. Participants without physical functional limitations showed higher level of both resilience and quality of life. Participants with bad health status showed a lower level of both resilience and quality of life and higher level of symptom experience. The quality of life was related to the level of resilience (beta=.373), symptom experience (beta=-.292), and perceived health status (beta=-3.961). CONCLUSION: Proactive nursing approaches to manage symptoms and to improve perceived health status would enhance the quality of life of colorectal cancer patients. Furthermore, various strategies to strengthen the level of resilience should be developed.