Towards a Definition of Hope
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Nursing literature contains a growing number of references to hope. Yet a definition that encapsulates all that hope is and does is not evident in the current health care literature. This paper therefore focuses on the factors of hope and their interrelation in an attempt to meet Walker and Avant's (1988) first stage of theory production, concept analysis. To this end the paper examines the philosophical background and origin of hope. It critiques hope within health care literature, identifying the centrality of hope, the future orientation of hope, the dynamism of hope, and the multi-dimensional nature of hope. It then explores how hope is relative to help, and examines the relationship between the interwoven concepts of hope, help and caring. It concludes by producing a working definition of hope upon which higher levels of theory, especially future theories of hope inspiration may be based.
Cutcliffe, J. R.
(1997). Towards a Definition of Hope. International Journal of Psychiatric Nursing Research, 3 (2), 319-332.