Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 65–80 | Cite as

A partnership in like-minded thinking-generating hopefulness in persons with cancer

  • Tressie A. Dutchyn Ayers
Scientific Contribution


A conceptual model of a partnership in ‘like-minded thinking’ consists of the following components: a relationship, a shared goal with mutual agreement to work toward that goal, and reciprocal encouragement between two people. A like-minded alliance is a relationship that offers support while at the same time encourages hope and establishes a reciprocating emotional attitude of hopefulness.

The discussion focuses on the principles of such a model that is designed primarily as a lay intervention for anyone who has a close friend with cancer and who wants to assist the friend in maintaining a hopeful attitude in the face of illness. While this model is not directed at healthcare professionals it may be transferable into psychosocial interventions to assist persons toward sustaining hopefulness in the context of the cancer trajectory. Much has been written in the literature about how hopelessness spawns despair for individuals who have cancer and in those near the end of life; it may even create a desire for hastened death (Breitbart W., Heller K.S.: 2003, ‘Reframing Hope: Meaning-Centered Care for Patients Near the End of Life; Journal of Palliative Medicine 6, 979–988; Jones J.M., Huggins M.A., Rydall A.C., Rodin G.M.: 2003, ‘Symptomatic distress, hopelessness, and the desire for hastened death in hospitalized cancer patients’ Journal of Psychosomatic Research 55, 411–418).

Therefore, the aim of this paper is to explore how like-minded thinking for a person with cancer and his or her support person provides a framework for a personal shared worldview that is hope-based, meaningful and coherent.

Key words

cancer hope like-minded thinking psychosocial intervention support persons theoretical model 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Graduate StudiesDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.NahantUSA

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