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The Nature of Hope among Iranian Cancer Patients

  • Afrooz, Rashed (Medical Surgical Department, Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Rahmani, Azad (Hematology and Oncology Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Zamanzadeh, Vahid (Medical Surgical Department, Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Abdullahzadeh, Farahnaz (Medical Surgical Department, Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Azadi, Arman (Public Health Department, Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Ilam University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Faghany, Safieh (Medical Surgical Department, Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Pirzadeh, Asgar (Faculty of Medicine, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences)
  • Published : 2014.11.28

Abstract

Background: Hope is an important coping resource for cancer patients. Types and sources of hope and hope-inspiring strategies are not well investigated among Iranian cancer patients. The aims of present study were therefore to investigate the nature of hope and some demographic predictors of hope among Iranian cancer patients. Materials and Methods: This descriptive-correlational study was undertaken among 200 cancer patients admitted to an educational center affiliated to Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Iran. Participants were selected using a convenience sampling method. The Herth Hope Index and other validated questionnaires were used to investigate level of hope and types and sources of hope, as well as hope-inspiring strategies. Data were analyzed using SPSS statistical software. Results: The overall score for hope was 31 from total scores ranging between 12 and 48. Some 94% of patients mentioned 'return to normal life' and 'complete healing of disease by drugs and physicians' as their main hopes. The most important sources of hope reported by patients include spiritual resources, family members, healthcare workers, and medicines and treatments available for the disease. Relationship with God, praying/blessing, controlling the signs and symptoms of the disease, and family/health care workers' support were the main hope-inspiring strategies. Patients who had a history of metastasis, or who were older, illiterate, divorced/widowed and lived with their children reported lower levels of hope. On the other hand, employed patients and those with good support from their families had higher levels of hope. Conclusions: The study findings showed moderate to high levels of hope among Iranian cancer patients. Accordingly, the role of spiritual/religion, family members and health care workers should be considered in developing care plans for these patients.

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