Divergent views of hope influencing communications between parents and hospital providers

Cecelia I. Roscigno*, Teresa A. Savage, Karen Kavanaugh, Teresa T. Moro, Sarah J. Kilpatrick, Howard T. Strassner, William A. Grobman, Robert E. Kimura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


This study evaluated parents' and health care providers' (HCPs) descriptions of hope following counseling of parents at risk of delivering an extremely premature infant. Data came from a longitudinal multiple case study investigation that examined the decision making and support needs of 40 families and their providers. Semistructured interviews were conducted before and after delivery. Divergent viewpoints of hope were found between parents and many HCPs and were subsequently coded using content analysis. Parents relied on hope as an emotional motivator, whereas most HCPs described parents' notions of hope as out of touch with reality. Parents perceived that such divergent beliefs about the role of hope negatively shaped communicative interactions and reduced trust with some of their providers. A deeper understanding of how varying views of hope might shape communications will uncover future research questions and lead to theory-based interventions aimed at improving the process of discussing difficult news with parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1232-1246
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • communication, medical
  • content analysis
  • culture / cultural competence
  • decision making
  • disability / disabled persons
  • end-of-life issues
  • infants, high-risk, parenting
  • pregnancy, high-risk
  • relationships, health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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