Hope-related goal cognitions and daily experiences of fatigue, pain, and functional concern among lung cancer patients

Laurie E. Steffen*, Jennifer S. Cheavens, Kevin E. Vowles, Jennifer Gabbard, Huynh Nguyen, Gregory N. Gan, Martin J. Edelman, Bruce W. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Cross-sectional research suggests that thinking about multiple ways to reach goals (hope pathways) and the belief that one can reach them (hope agency) may be adaptive for lung cancer patients. We examined the between-person and within-person associations among aspects of hope agency and pathways thinking, daily fatigue, pain, and functional concerns (e.g., sense of independence, usefulness) among lung cancer patients during active treatment. 

Methods: Data from a daily diary study were used to examine relations among hope agency, hope pathways, fatigue, pain, and functional concern in 50 patients with advanced lung cancer. Participants were accrued from one outpatient cancer center and completed the study between 2014 and 2015. 

Results: Adjusting for covariates and the previous day’s symptoms or concern, patients who engaged in higher pathways thinking reported lower daily symptoms, whereas those who engaged in higher agency thinking reported less functional concern. Within-person increases in pathways thinking were associated with less daily fatigue, pain, and functional concern; within-person increases in agency thinking were associated with less daily fatigue and pain. Models examining symptoms and concerns as predictors of hope suggested within-person increases in functional concern and fatigue and pain were related to lower agency and pathways thinking the same day. Patients with higher fatigue and pain did not report lower agency or pathways thinking, but patients with more functional concern did. 

Conclusions: Increases in hope pathways thinking may be associated with lower symptoms and better functioning in lung cancer patients. This suggests that it is important to determine the efficacy of interventions that emphasize the pathways the component of hope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-835
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Early online date01 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Fatigue
  • Goal setting
  • Hope
  • Lung cancer
  • Pain
  • Palliative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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