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Promoting Health Through Hope

Hope is a multidimensional concept made of both feelings and the way of thinking. Hope is a feeling that many healthcare professionals have for their patients, especially those with chronic health conditions. Their feelings of hope impact the way that individuals see their health and health-related problems. Researchers also strive to use hope as a resource for promoting health. Patients of all types of illnesses mention how hope keeps them motivated. A Swedish nurse, Eva Benzein, interviewed people with cancer who received palliative home care about hope. Participants of the study described their hope of being cured. Even though they knew they were seriously ill, they remained hopeful about living as normally as possible and were aware of the importance of the presence of affirmative relationships. The participants announced that their lives were forever changed when they learned that there was no treatment for their illness. Instead, they found meaning in their situation, and hope kept them going. Benzein’s study demonstrated how hope in palliative patients has helped them to cope. As a result, hope is often used as resistance and a coping strategy for patients in demanding life conditions. 

The concept of hope can be split into generalized and particularized. General hope can be defined as a hope to find meaning in one’s life. Partial hope is usually associated with an object, like hope for a new treatment in a medical context. There are also various dimensions of hope or different aspects of hope. For instance, the affective dimension of hope is the emotional aspect, such as the confidence of happy news and uncertainty of the future. Qualitative studies like questionnaires are used to measure hope in clinical settings. These studies ask patients questions about hope and how it has helped them stay positive. Various factors facilitate feelings of hope in patients. For example, in a study about how hope in women after cardiac surgery changed, diminished hope was connected to older age, lower education, mental illness before surgery, and consistent pain. For many studies, a common theme of less education has correlated with patients not feeling as much hope. While there is still a lot to be looked into about hope and how to use it to help patients, it can be used to strengthen the recovery of patients. 

Thank you, 

Siri Nikku 





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