University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Maintaining Patient Hopefulness: a Critique

Lipscomb, Martin ORCID: (2007) Maintaining Patient Hopefulness: a Critique. Nursing Inquiry, 14 (4). pp. 335-342. ISSN Online: 1440-1800

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It has been proposed that maintaining patient hopefulness is or should be a central nursing duty, and within the nursing literature the maintenance of patient and family hope is generally presented as an unproblematic ‘good thing’. However, here it is argued that hope cannot bear the claims made on its behalf. The concept is variously interpreted and this variation might indicate that hope cannot sustain a real or technical definition. Further, hope may be confused or entangled with teleological assumptions, and this complicates use of the concept in healthcare systems which prize scientific forms of evidence-informed decision-making. As currently understood hope cannot be situated within a sustainable scientific theory and nurses are therefore advised to distance themselves from the more extravagant claims that are made regarding the concept.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: evidence, hope, hopelessness, teleology, theory
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
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Depositing User: Martin Lipscomb
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2015 11:22
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:08

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