Purpose/Objectives: To synthesize the literature, develop generalizations, and identify issues that should be evaluated in the future in regard to hope and patients with cancer.
Data Sources: MEDLINE®, CINAHL®, and PsycINFO databases.
Data Synthesis: Twenty-six research articles published from 1982-2005 met the criteria for review. Four major themes emerged: (a) exploring the level of hope in patients with cancer, (b) discovering how patients cope with a cancer diagnosis, (c) identifying strategies that patients with cancer commonly use to maintain hope, and (d) identifying nursing interventions used to assist patients with cancer in maintaining and fostering hope.
Conclusions: The concept of hope should be developed systematically to extend knowledge and build a logical program of research based on previous studies.
Implications for Nursing: Nurses need to develop new interventions to foster patients' hope and new instruments that can be used to measure outcomes.