Living with Hope: Initial Evaluation of a Psychosocial Hope Intervention for Older Palliative Home Care Patients
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The overall purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a psychosocial supportive intervention called the "Living with Hope Program" (LWHP) in increasing hope and quality of life for older adult, community-living, terminally ill cancer patients. Using a mixed method concurrent nested experimental design, 60 terminally ill cancer patients over the age of 60 years were randomly assigned to a treatment group and a control group. Baseline hope (Herth Hope Index [HHI]) and quality-of-life scores (McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire [MQOL]) were collected at the first visit in the patients' homes by trained research assistants. Those in the treatment group received the LWHP, which consisted of viewing an international award-winning video on hope and a choice of one of three hope activities to work on over a one-week period. The control group received standard care. Hope and quality-of-life data were collected one week later from both groups. Qualitative data using open-ended hope questions were collected from the treatment group. Patients receiving the LWHP had statistically significant higher hope (U=255, P=0.005) and quality-of-life scores at Visit 2 (U=294.5, P=0.027) than those in the control group. Qualitative data confirmed this finding, with the majority (61.5%) of patients in the treatment group reporting the LWHP increased their hope. This preliminary evaluation of the effectiveness of the LWHP suggests that it may increase hope and quality of life for older terminally ill cancer patients at home.
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