Can cancer patients tap into a certain kind of hope that is often overlooked but incredibly therapeutic and healing? Research by University Distinguished Professor of Marketing Leonard Berry of Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School suggests clinicians can help patients tap into this kind of hope. 


In an article published in The BMJ Opinion (British Medical Journal), titled “The Dual Nature of Hope at the End of Life,” Berry and his coauthors differentiate between two types of hope: external (focused on a cure and recovery) and internal (peace with circumstances and resignation to live in the moment).


Berry suggests that intrinsic hope can be unlocked in several ways:

  • Telling patients the truth about their prognosis
  • Managing their pain
  • Offering patients’ their physical presence


Berry is Regents Professor and holds the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M.. His research focuses on improving service in cancer care. His coauthors for the study were Brad Stuart, chief medical officer at the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care in Washington, D.C., and Avis Begoun, a clinical psychologist based in Palo Alto, Calif.