Year: 2010 Source: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, v.5, no.1, (2010), p.1-9 SIEC No: 20100318

The aim of this study was to interpret the lived experience of hope in some patients hospitalized for intentional self-harm. 12 persons that had engaged in suicidal behaviour by overdosing on medications were interviewed shortly after hospitalization & asked to narrate about their hopes. Transcripts were analyzed using a phenomenological hermeneutic method inspired by Ricouer’s theory of interpretation. The naive reading was one of hope being relational. The structural analysis identified 3 themes: hopes for life, hopes for death, & the act of hoping. For clinicians, expression of indefinite hopes may raise concerns about the low likelihood of fulfillment. However, the expression of indefinite hope may serve to avoid experiencing failure, disappointment, & hopelessness. (21 refs.)