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A theory-based nursing intervention to instill hope in homeless veterans

Tollett, Jane H. PhD, RN; Thomas, Sandra P. PhD, RN

Nursing Therapeutics

This quasi-experimental study sought to determine if a specific nursing intervention to instill hope would positively influence levels of hope, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and depression in homeless veterans. Miller's Model of Patient Power Resources served as the conceptual framework from which a middle-range theory of homelessness-hopelessness was derived to guide the study. Homeless veterans completed pretests on admission to a Veterans Affairs Medical Center, were randomly assigned to treatment or waiting control group, and completed posttests at the end of 4 weeks. There was support for the homelessness-hopelessness theory as evidenced by a high level of depression and low levels of hope, self-efficacy, and self-esteem among these homeless veterans. Further support for the theory was seen in the increased levels of hope and self-esteem and decreased depression in veterans who received the nursing intervention. Treatment and control groups differed significantly with regard to hope at posttest.

(J. H. Tollett) Chief of Homeless Veterans Service, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Anchorage, Alaska.

(S. P. Thomas) Director, PhD Program, College of Nursing, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

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