The Nature of Hope among Iranian Cancer Patients


Background: Hope is an important coping resource for cancer patients. Types and sources of hope and hopeinspiringstrategies are not well investigated among Iranian cancer patients. The aims of present study weretherefore to investigate the nature of hope and some demographic predictors of hope among Iranian cancerpatients. Materials and
Methods: This descriptive-correlational study was undertaken among 200 cancer patientsadmitted to an educational center affiliated to Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Iran. Participants wereselected using a convenience sampling method. The Herth Hope Index and other validated questionnaires wereused to investigate level of hope and types and sources of hope, as well as hope-inspiring strategies. Data wereanalyzed using SPSS statistical software.
Results: The overall score for hope was 31 from total scores rangingbetween 12 and 48. Some 94% of patients mentioned ‘return to normal life’ and ‘complete healing of diseaseby drugs and physicians’ as their main hopes. The most important sources of hope reported by patients includespiritual 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/healthcare workers’ support were the main hope-inspiring strategies. Patients who had a history of metastasis, or whowere older, illiterate, divorced/widowed and lived with their children reported lower levels of hope. On the otherhand, 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 roleof spiritual/religion, family members and health care workers should be considered in developing care plans forthese patients.