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Getting to Hope: Perspectives from Patients and Caregivers Living with Chronic Childhood Illness


Promoting hope was identified in our prior work as the top priority research question among patients and caregivers with diverse childhood-onset chronic conditions. Here, we aimed to construct a conceptual model to guide future research studies of interventions to improve hope. We conducted eight monthly virtual focus groups and one virtual workshop with patients, caregivers, and researchers to explore key constructs to inform the model. Discussions were facilitated by Patient Co-Investigators. Participants developed a definition of hope and identified promotors and inhibitors that influence the experience of hope. We utilized qualitative methods to analyze findings and organize the promotors and inhibitors of hope within three strata of the socio-ecologic framework: structural, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Participants identified three types of interventions to promote hope: resources, navigation, and activities to promote social connection. The hope conceptual model can be used to inform the selection of interventions to assess in future research studies aimed at improving hope and the specification of outcome measures to include in hope research studies. Inclusion of the health care system in the model provides direction for identifying strategies for improving the system and places responsibility on the system to do better to promote hope among young patients with chronic illness and their caregivers.

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