Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1-4-1965


The problem of this study was to determine if an attitude of hopelessness existed in psychiatric patients toward themselves and in staff toward the patients. The purposes of this study were: (1) to devise a tool that would identify the presence and measure the attitude of hopelessness; (2) to determine if a psychiatric patient, upon admission to the hospital possessed - a hopeless attitude toward himself; (3) to determine if, upon admission of a patient, the staff possessed a hopeless attitude toward the patient; and (4) to determine, if after a one-month interval, there was a change of attitude on the part of the staff or patients. The method of study was descriptive-survey with the questionnaire technique for data collection. The data were analyzed by application of the statistical tests of t, z, F, and Discriminatory Powers. The major findings indicated: (1) that the questionnaire devised to measure and identify the presence of the attitude of hopelessness was a valid tool; (2) that upon admission to a psychiatric hospital, some patients do possess a hopeless attitude toward themselves; (3) that upon admission of a patient to a psychiatric hospital, some staff members possess a hopeless attitude toward patients; (4) that after a one-month interval the staff group showed a greater change in attitude toward being more hopeless about patients than did patients as a group; (5) that the change in attitude of the staff group did not affect the patients' attitude toward themselves in a one-month period. Some recommendations made were that the concept of hopelessness be applied to other areas of nursing, such as education, chronic and terminal illnesses and that investigations be carried out in an attempt to overcome the hopeless attitude that may exist in staff and patients.