Hope in Healthcare: A Synthesis of Review Studies

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    The objectives of this study were (1) to provide an overview of review studies on hope in health care, and to describe (2) conceptualizations of hope, (3) antecedents and consequences of hope, and (4) ethical topics related to hope. Electronic databases were searched and 73 review studies were selected and themat- ically analyzed. Hope was conceptualized as (a) an expectation: appraisal of a future outcome, (b) resilience: endurance of adversity, and (c) a desire: expression of meaning. Opposite concepts to hope were fear/anxiety, hopelessness, despair, and depression. Inspiring relationships, particularly relationships with peers, were an important factor that increased hope in patients. Losses, like the loss of health or (inspiring) relationships, had a negative impact on hope. Also, hope had effects on motivation for change and making decisions. The ethics of hope was addressed in palliative care, where health care providers wanted to maintain patients’ hope while being honest or realistic. In conclusion, this chapter offers an overview of hope in health care and offers conceptual clarification, including ethical issues related to hope. Future studies should broaden the ethics of hope by including other values than realism and they should include the hope of health care providers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHistorical and Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Hope
    EditorsSteven van den Heuvel
    Place of PublicationCham
    PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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