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Course Overview

“HOPE Springs Eternal”

What is the HOPE approach to self-management?

 Self EsteemHOPE courses are designed to help people become more knowledgeable, skilled and confident in managing the physical, emotional and psychological consequences of living with and being affected by a long-term condition (LTCs). HOPE courses are aimed at a wide range of people reflecting diversity in different LTCs, ages, and ethnicity.  We have used a systematic intervention development process to ensure that HOPE courses are tailored to meet the needs of participants (Martin, Turner et al. 2013; Martin, Turner et al. 2012).

Bandura’s social cognition theory (2001), Snyder’s hope theory (Snyder 2000), and Fredrickson’s Broaden and Build theory (Fredrickson 1998) underpin the HOPE courses and influenced the selection of many of the course core activities. We pursued this innovative, positive psychological approach to because people we interviewed who had attended a self-management course  described a renewed sense of hopeful thinking and action and positive outlook as they pursued their goals (Barlow et al. 2008; Turner at al. 2002). 

Positive psychology is interested in the full range of human functioning and has the dual aims of alleviating psychological distress and promoting positive well-being. This positive approach to self-management means that HOPE is relevant and useful to everyone and not just people living  with and affected by a LTC.

What’s in a HOPE course?

HOPE courses are interactive, group-based, self-management support courses, which run for  6 weeks, with each weekly session lasting 2.5 hours. We have also developed 4 hour self-management workshops for testicular and colorectal cancer survivors. We are also developing online HOPE courses for those people whose health prevents them accessing a community course or for those who would prefer to do the course online rather than face-to-face.  HOPE courses are co delivered by trained health professionals and peer facilitators.  Course participants can go onto to train to become peer facilitators. 


• Goal setting and action planning

• Stress management

• Mindfulness and relaxation

• Fatigue management

• Identifying character strengths

• Gratitude diaries

• Healthy lifestyles

• Prioritising important things in life

PositiveKey behaviour change techniques on the course include goal setting and action planning. Each week the facilitators support participants to set goals  to make healthier lifestyle choices such as taking up regular exercise, eating a healthier diet  or reducing stress levels.

Goal setting fosters a sense of pride and achievement and participants are inspired and instilled with hope when witnessing others work towards achieving their goals. 

HOPE courses are also designed to deliberately exploit Irvin Yalom’s (2005)  group therapeutic factors such as instillation of hope, universality (realising you are not alone), group cohesion, altruism and learning from each other.  HOPE also addresses the five key mental health recovery concepts provide the foundation of effective recovery work which are: hope; personal responsibility; self-advocacy; education; support. 

Does HOPE work?

After attending HOPE courses participants feel:

• More confident and motivated

• Less depressed and anxious

• More relaxed

• More positive about the future

• More happy

• Less tired


What do participants say about HOPE?

“... I didn’t see a future. I found that coming each week to the HOPE course and you get to know the people and they give you support and friendship and the goal setting and being positive from being in a black tunnel you suddenly can see the light at the end.”

 “To chat and laugh, and exchange worries and hopes, has been helpful. I certainly have a more positive outlook. Thank you for inviting me to take part.”

“It gave me hope, whereas before I’ve been up against a brick wall. I met like minded people and they understood my problems.”

Click here to read more participant WOW stories.

References and further reading

Bandura A. (2001). Social Cognitive Theory : An Agentic Perspective, Annu. Rev. Psychol. 52:1–26

Barlow JH, Edwards, R,  Turner, AP (2008). The experience of attending a lay-led, chronic disease self-management programme from the perspective of participants with multiple sclerosis Psychology and Health, 1–14.

Fredrickson, B L. (1998). What Good Are Positive Emotions?, Review of General Psychology.  2, 300-319

Martin, F., Turner, A., Bourne, C. & Batehup, L. (2013) Supporting Patient-Initiated Follow-up for Testicular Cancer Survivors: Development and Qualitative Evaluation of a Self-Management Workshop.  Oncology Nursing Forum. Vol. 40, No. 1, DOI 10.1188/13.ONF.E14-E23.

Martin, F., Turner, A., Wallace, L.M., Choudhry, K.& Bradbury, N. (2012). Perceived Barriers to Self-Management for People with Dementia in the Early Stages. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice DOI: 10.1177/1471301211434677.

Snyder (2000) Handbook of Hope Theory, Measures and Applications, California, Academic Press.

Turner, AP, Barlow, JH & Williams, BR (2002) The impact of an arthritis self-management programme on psychosocial wellbeing. Health Education, 102, 95-105.

Yalom, ID., Leszcz, M. (2005). Theory and practice of group psychotherapy ( 5th Edition). New York, NY: Basic Books.