Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Kari L. Fletcher

Abstract

Due to the lack of research examining elderly cancer patients’ utilization of hope and faith-based services in healing, the current study explored this idea as viewed from the perspective of social workers (n =7) that worked (past or present) with elderly patients in medical settings or with adult cancer patients. Participants spoke to their experiences with cancer patients of all ages and in all stages of illness, not only elderly individuals with terminal cancer. This study found that both hope and faith-based services are an important component of the healing process for cancer patients of any age. The findings of this study indicate the need for social workers to recognize and foster hope amongst cancer patients of any age, and formally assess a cancer patient’s hope throughout their medical journey, specifically in terms of what it is they are hoping for.

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