Scand J Caring Sci; 2010; 24; 67–74
Hope as a determinant of mental health recovery: a psychometric evaluation of the Herth Hope Index-Dutch version
Hope is an important aspect of mental health recovery and a major concern in patients with mental illness. Therefore, an instrument to measure hope could be useful for clinical settings and research. The aim of this study was to develop a Dutch version of the Herth Hope Index (HHI-Dutch) and to evaluate its validity and reliability in a sample of people with severe mental illness. The HHI-Dutch was used in a sample of people with severe mental illness (n = 341). A Principal Component Analysis with varimax rotation was performed and identified two factors. The results also showed a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.84 for the HHI total score and a test–retest reliability of r = 0.79. As for convergent validity, highest correlations were found between hope and health-related self-efficacy beliefs (r = 0.72), perceived quality of life (r = 0.56) and mental health (r = 0.59) and medium correlations between hope and loneliness (r = -0.47), task-oriented coping (r = 0.45) and the habit to seek company (r = 0.4). As for divergent validity, according to expectations, there was no significant correlation between hope and physical functioning, but there was a positive correlation between hope and general health perception (r = 0.34). In conclusion, the HHI-Dutch has shown to be an instrument with adequate psychometrical properties. It is advisable to use the scale as a whole rather than using the subscales. The HHI-Dutch is appropriate for research in the recovery process of people with severe mental illness. Moreover, the study of hope is important for understanding the concept of hope in relation to mental health recovery. The results of this study may be a step forward and a new impulse to stimulate research on the important ‘hope’ aspect in mental health recovery.