Published in: Community Mental Health Journal, 46(4): 409-15, 2010.

Abstract: Hope is central in the recovery of the mentally ill, and family attitudes play an important role. Hope may be mediated by cognitive and communication processes. The “Keshet” program is aimed at enhancing communication of family members with the use of cognitive pathways. The present pilot study examines whether the program effectively increases hope in family members in regard to themselves versus their hope for their ill relative. Methods: Forty-nine family members who participated in the “Keshet” program for 6 months comprised the experimental group. The control group comprised of 22 family members who underwent no structural intervention. Hope was measured at baseline and after 6 months using the Hope Scale developed by Snyder. No difference in self-perception was detected in Hope Scores between groups. However, the experimental group displayed a significant increase in their hope toward the ill relative with a concomitant decrease in the gap between the hope of family members in relation to themselves versus their hope toward the ill person. “Keshet” significantly increased the hope of families concerning the ill person, while decreasing the gap between the hope of family members regarding themselves and the affected person. Thus, the program may contribute to the increase the families’ hope in the recovery journey of mentally ill family members.