Date of Award

Spring 1980

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Verbal and nonverbal behaviors of four women with terminal cancer were described and categorized utilizing a framework based on an operational definition of hopelessness. Defining hope as "an expectation greater than zero of obtaining a goal", one of the subjects demonstrated behaviors indicating advanced progression of hopelessness; one subject reversed affect through goal redirection and became more hopeful; one subject continuously remained on the hopeful side of the continuum; and one subject demonstrated progressions and regressions midway along the continuum. Based on the indicators, nursing strategies were proposed at each level of the continuum. Conclusions reached included a positive response to the questions posed for research; that is, behavioral indicators of developing hopelessness can be identified, categorized , and utilized as a basis for the proposal of nursing strategies.