The impact of cancer pain on the quality of life of lung cancer patients is obvious, but the relationship of cancer pain to uncertainty and level of hope in cancer patients is not clear and has been the subject of only a few studies. The purpose of this study is to look at the relationship of pain to uncertainty and hope in Taiwanese lung cancer patients. A cross-sectional and descriptive correlational design was used in this study. A convenience sample of lung cancer patients was recruited from chest medicine and oncology inpatient units at three teaching hospitals in the Taipei area of Taiwan. The research instruments included the Brief Pain Inventory-Chinese version (BPI-C), Mishel's Uncertainty Illness Scale (MUIS), and the Herth Hope Index (HHI). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson's correlation, and multiple regression. A total of 164 subjects were recruited, including 79 patients with cancer pain and 85 patients without cancer pain. The major findings were: 1) there were significant differences in level of uncertainty and level of hope between patients with cancer pain and those without. Patients with cancer pain reported higher levels of uncertainty and lower levels of hope than did patients without cancer pain; 2) pain severity was not significantly related to level of uncertainty; however, pain interference with daily life was positively correlated to level of uncertainty; 3) both pain severity and pain interference were negatively correlated with level of hope; and 4) after controlling for pain severity and pain interference, uncertainty was a significant predictor of level of hope. Important implications for future studies are discussed.
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