Purpose: The purpose of the study was to explore experiences of older people with cancer in ascertaining the attributes of a person-centred approach in sustaining hope and enabling human flourishing. This was a qualitative study comparing patients and professional experiences and perceptions of care across to ward settings.
Methods: Methods involved 10 semi-structured interviews conducted with patients and focus groups (n = 6) and 10 semi-structured interviews with health professionals. Three dissemination focus groups (n = 14) were also carried out with professionals to allow further analysis of the data.
Results: Two main themes were identified, including ‘Emotional adaptations of hope: wants and expectations’ and ‘Hope through belittling their illness’. Findings highlight the way hope is conveyed and the emphasis' accorded to issues such as societal perceptions, knowledge, expectations of care, life stage, relationships, identity, and emotions. Findings also reinforce the importance of maintaining hope, recognising the different ways hope is used, and enabling patients to flourish.
Conclusion: This study highlights how hope is facilitated through the interaction between patients and professionals and that the relational interactive stance. This current study establishes that hope seemed to be temporal, contextual and dynamic in nature, involving an ongoing process. Helping older people with cancer to understand their illness considering the situation of lives and experiences is essential to address expectations and wants.
- Health care professionals
- Older person
- Qualitative study
- Ward settings