• hopelessness;
  • factor analysis;
  • advanced illness;
  • cancer;
  • oncology


Objective: Although the Beck Hopelessness Scale is often used with the seriously ill, its factor structure has been given relatively little consideration in this context.

Methods: The factor structure of this scale was examined in a sample of 406 ambulatory patients with advanced lung or gastrointestinal cancer, using a sequential exploratory-confirmatory factor analysis procedure.

Results: A two-factor model was consistent with the data: The first factor reflected a negative outlook and was labeled ‘negative expectations’; the second factor identified a sense of resignation and was labeled ‘loss of motivation.’

Conclusions: Implications regarding scoring of the scale in this population are discussed, as are implications of the two-factor structure for our understanding of hopelessness in individuals with advanced cancer. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.