A mixed method thematic review: the importance of hope to the dying patient

Kathleen Broadhurst, Ann Harrington

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Aim: To review the literature and investigate the meaning of hope to patients receiving palliative care and to examine the themes that foster hope in those patients. Background: Hope is often linked to the future and is a significant factor for patients dealing with adversity, such as a terminal illness. The concept of hope is underreported in the literature. Design: Mixed method thematic review. Data sources: CINAHL, Scopus, PsychINFO, Informit, PubMed, Science Direct, ProQuest, Web of Science and Google Scholar online databases were searched using keywords and inclusion and exclusion criteria published between 2003-2013. Review methods: Twelve qualitative articles were thematically analysed using Braun and Clarke's steps to ascertain major themes and sub-themes. On analysis, the remaining three mixed method studies were found to reflect the themes generated by the qualitative studies. Results: Seven key themes that increased hope were found: disease status; positive personal relationships; positive character traits; quality of life; setting and achieving goals; spirituality/religion; and hope after death. Conclusion: The importance of hope to dying patients was established. Hope is a very complex and personal phenomena requiring hope-enhancing strategies to be individualized. More research is needed with groups whose culture, youth or type of illness may affect their ability to foster and maintain hope.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)18-32
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


    • Adult
    • Dying patient
    • Hope
    • Hospice
    • Nursing
    • Palliative care
    • Spirituality
    • Thematic literature review


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