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Discursive meaning of hope for older persons with advanced cancer and their caregivers

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • This study used van Dijk's critical-discourse approach to explore the current societal discourse on hope and to explore the hope of older terminally ill cancer patients, their significant others and primary nurse. Forty-three newspaper articles dealing with hope and cancer were collected and analyzed to explore how hope is socially constructed by print media. Individual face-to-face, qualitative, open-ended interviews were conducted with three triads, each consisting of an older palliative cancer patient, a significant other, and a primary nurse. The predominant discourse of hope and cancer in the newspaper articles was considered ageist, conveying the message that only one legitimate hope existed for persons with cancer: hope for a cure. The study findings suggested that this message caused confusion and distress for the patients, significant others, and their primary nurses because their own discourses of hope were focused on comfort, peace, and maintaining relationships at the end of life.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
  • License
    © 2010 Cambridge University Press. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Duggleby, W., Holtslander, L., Steeves, M., Duggleby- Wenzel, S., Cummingham, S.. (2010). Discursive meaning of hope for older persons with advanced cancer and their caregivers. Canadian Journal of Aging, 29(3), 361-367. doi: 10.1017/S0714980810000322.