A longitudinal study of the effects of a hope intervention on levels of hope and psychological distress in a community-based sample of oncology patients

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2011 Sep;15(4):351-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2010.09.001. Epub 2010 Sep 25.


Purpose of research: To determine the effect of the hope intervention (HOPE-IN) on levels of hope and psychological distress immediately (T2), 3 (T3), and 12 (T4) months following the intervention; determine the effects of the HOPE-IN on changes in patients' level of hope after controlling for baseline levels of psychological distress; and evaluate patients' level of satisfaction with the HOPE-IN.

Methods and sample: This single group, longitudinal study recruited a community-based sample which cancer. Most of the participants (n = 195) were females, married, and had breast cancer. The HOPE-IN consisted of eight 2-h sessions conducted over 8 weeks. Data were collected on demographic and clinical characteristics, hope (Herth Hope Index), psychological distress (Impact of Event Scale (IES)), and satisfaction with the HOPE-IN.

Key results: Hope scores increased significantly from T1 to T2, and then decreased slightly from T2 through T4. Both intrusion and avoidance IES scores decreased significantly from T1 to T2 and then decreased slightly from T2 to T4. The changes in hope scores remained significant even when baseline scores on intrusion were controlled for in the analyses. Baseline level of hope was negatively correlated with baseline intrusion and avoidance scores. These findings indicate that the trajectories of hope scores remained the same conditioned on intrusion or avoidance. Over 95% of the participants reported that the HOPE-IN was useful to them.

Conclusions: Additional research is warranted to determine the most effective approaches to increase hope and reduce psychological distress in individuals who are living with a cancer diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Breast Neoplasms / nursing*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Norway
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Stress, Psychological / nursing
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Survivors