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Hope in Adults With Cancer: State of the Science

Clare M. Butt
ONF 2011, 38(5), E341-E350 DOI: 10.1188/11.ONF.E341-E350

Purpose/Objectives: To synthesize the literature regarding research on hope in adults with cancer.

Data Sources: CINAHL Plus® and PsycINFO databases.

Data Synthesis: Sixteen articles published from 2005-2009 met the criteria for review. The literature was organized according to Oncology Nursing Society levels of evidence. Research studies on hope in adults with cancer were analyzed, critiqued, and synthesized.

Conclusions: Research evidence continues to grow regarding descriptions of hope and hope attributes in adults with cancer. Although nursing intervention programs have demonstrated positive effects on hope in adults newly diagnosed with cancer, those with a first cancer recurrence, the terminally ill, and survivors of childhood cancer, current studies are small and additional research is indicated.

Implications for Nursing: Opportunities exist to explain the dynamic process of hope, develop hope interventions that are tailored to meet the developmental needs of adults with cancer, and study existing nursing programs that support hope using larger samples in randomized, controlled trials.

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