Date of Award

Spring 1993

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Miller, Judith

Second Advisor

Lough, Mary Ann

Third Advisor

Wilson, Sarah


Little study has been done related to perceived uncertainty and hope and persons with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The purposes of this descriptive correlational study were to examine the relationships between perceived uncertainty, its dimensions of ambiguity, complexity, inconsistency, and unpredictability and hope in a convenience sample of 32 adults diagnosed with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Secondary purposes were to examine the relationship between uncertainty structure providers (formal education, annual income, length of time since diagnosis of AIDS made, number of hospitalizations due to AIDS, perceived psychosocial support, religiosity, and confidence in medical care) and total uncertainty and hope. Data were collected using the Mishel Uncertainty in Illness Scale (MUIS), the Miller Hope Scale (MHS), and a demographic information form. Analysis of data demonstrated that the respondents had a high degree of uncertainty (mean score=99.65) and a high degree of hope (mean score=158.06). Analysis of the data using Pearson Product Moment Correlation resulted in significant negative relationships between total uncertainty and hope (r=-0.498 4, p < .0l), ambiguity and hope (r=-0.4813, p <. 0l), complexity and hope (r=-0.3645, p<.05) and inconsistency and hope (r=-0.4666, unpredictability and hope. Higher scores on the MUIS indicate a higher level of uncertainty. the MHS indicate a higher level of hope. Higher scores on A significant negative relationship existed between structure providers and uncertainty (r=-0.5162, p<.0l). No significant relationship was noted between the structure providers and hope. This study provides insight into the relationships that exist between perceived uncertainty and hope levels. Implications for nursing suggest that nurses' attitudes toward illness involve probabilistic views regarding illness so that uncertainty is not viewed negatively but may be an opportunity for multiple possibilities, helping the individual to manage uncertainty and promote hope in adapting to the individual's illness.