Aims. This paper describes the study protocol of a manualized brief positive intervention
(BHI). In addition, it reports the on the modification of a hope intervention based on the
theoretical proposition - hope theory, and its feasibility when applying to palliative cancer
and non-cancer patients.
Background. Hope was found to account for therapeutic changes in clients with depressive
symptoms or chronic pain. Nevertheless, little is known about the integration of such active
ingredients to brief and low intensity psycho-therapeutic interventions to patients receiving
palliative care were not adequately tested.
Design. The study included two stages: (1) manual development, and (2) a single blinded
randomized controlled trial.
Methods. Participants will be randomly assigned in equal number into either the brief hope
intervention or the controlled arm on completion of the baseline assessment. Participants of
the intervention group will be receiving the four-week intervention, while those allocated to
the control arm will be receiving the routine care and social chats. The intervention is a
manualized program that consists of four sessions at weekly intervals (two face to face
sessions and two telephone follow up in between). The core content is modified from an eight
sessions hope therapy. Expert panel feedback and trial on targeted populations were
completed. Four participants received the program to determine its acceptability prior to
feasibility testing. The process and practical considerations were evaluated to allow
refinement of the program and to ensure the quality of intervention.
Outcome measures comprise of changes in state hope score and the depression scores measured
respectively by State Hope Scale and Centre for Epidemiological Study Depression Scale. The
secondary outcomes are the common signs and symptoms in cancer patients measured by The
Condensed Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale. Data collection will be done prior to the
intervention (baseline), immediately and one month after the intervention. Additional use of
qualitative interview to explore their experiences in the intervention, including
satisfaction with the intervention and the treatment fidelity will be conducted.