Get access

Exploration of the concept of hope in the Dominican Republic


JeanieHolt 12 Farrar Road, Henniker, NH 03242, USA. E-mail:


Exploration of the concept of hope in the Dominican Republic

An ethnonursing study explored What is the meaning of hope (esperanza/esperar) to the Dominican people? What is the importance of the concept of hope to the people of the Dominican Republic? What are the universals and diversities in the meaning of hope for this cultural group and United States’ (US) mainstream culture? Hope has been considered universal and recent research has demonstrated the effect of levels of hope or hopelessness on health. Nurse researchers have explored the meaning of hope to patients in the US and have developed instruments to measure levels of hope. However, little research has explored whether hope has different attributes in various cultural groups. From data gathered in a rural Dominican village, a definition of hope and its attributes were developed: ‘Hope is an essential but dynamic life force that grows out of faith in God, is supported by relationships, resources and work, and results in the energy necessary to work for a desired future. Hope gives meaning and happiness’. This definition and its attributes were compared with definitions developed from research among mainstream US populations to propose universals and diversities of hope.