Hope in the context of lung cancer: Relationships of hope to symptoms and psychological distress

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Context: Hope may be important in explaining the variability in how patients adjust to lung cancer. Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine how hope, as conceptualized by Snyder et al., is associated with multiple indices of adjustment to lung cancer. This theoretical model of hope suggests that people with high levels of hope are able to think about the pathways to goals (pathways) and feel confident that they can pursue those pathways to reach their goals (agency). Methods: We hypothesized that higher levels of hope, as measured by Snyder et al.'s hope scale, would be related to lower levels of pain and other lung cancer symptoms (i.e., fatigue and cough) and lower psychological distress (i.e., depression). Participants in this study included patients with a diagnosis of lung cancer (n = 51). All participants provided demographic and medical information and completed measures of hope, lung cancer symptoms, and psychological distress. Results: Data analyses found that hope was inversely associated with major symptoms of cancer (i.e., pain, fatigue, and cough) and psychological distress (i.e., depression), even after accounting for important demographic and medical variables (i.e., age and cancer stage). Conclusion: The findings of this cross-sectional study highlight the potential importance of hope in understanding adjustment to lung cancer. Future longitudinal research could help reveal how hope and adjustment interact over the course of cancer survivorship. © 2010 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Berendes, D., Keefe, F. J., Somers, T. J., Kothadia, S. M., Porter, L. S., & Cheavens, J. S. (2010). Hope in the context of lung cancer: Relationships of hope to symptoms and psychological distress. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 40(2), 174–182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2010.01.014

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