Engineering, 2013, 5, 252-254 Published Online October 2013 (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. ENG
Human Care Theory and Influences on the Life Quality
Index of Cancer Patients in Household Life
Yali Sun, Ling Gao*, Ying Dong, Ling Gong
Beihua University, Jilin, China
Email: *
Received June 2013
To investigate the influences of the application of human care theory on the life quality and happiness of cancer patients
after they received a community nursing care which was implemented by the human care theory. The quality life and
the happiness index of 93 patients with cancer living in the six communities in Jillin were assessed, the assessment of
the life quality was based on a life quality scale (SF-36) and that of the happiness index was based on Memorial Uni-
versity of Newfoundland Scale of Happiness (MUNSH). The community nurses cared for these patients by applying the
theory of human care and the life quality and the happiness index of the patients were observed after the care. The re-
sults showed that there were significant differences in the score of 5 dimensions in the eight dimensions of the life qual-
ity between before the care and after the care (<0.05), and there were significant differences in the average sores of the
positive emotion, positive experience, negative emotion, negative experience and level of happiness included in the
happiness index between before the care and after the care (<0.05), suggesting that the theory of human care can be
used for the care of patients with cancer and the application of the theory can effectively improve the life quality and the
happiness index of the patients, strengthen their problem-solving abilities and let them have a positive attitude towards
their lives.
Keywords: Community Nurses; Theory of Human Care; Patients with Cancer; Quality of Life; Happiness Index
1. Introduction
With the progress of the times and the rapid development
of medical science, cancer has threaten to human health
and put tremendous psychological burden on the patients
and their families, causing a significant decrease in the
life quality and the happiness index of the timorous pa-
tients [1,2]. Because of the advance in medical technol-
ogy, the survival period of patients with cancer has been
significantly prolonged. In the present time, the quality
of life has been more and more concerned by the whole
society. In this study, the change in the quality of life of
tumorous patients was observed and studied after the
implementation of humane care which was given to the
tumorous patients [3].
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. General Information
93 Cases of patients with malignant tu mor were selected.
They were made a definite diagnosis before March 2011
and their sick years were 1 ± 0.6. After the combined
treatment in a hospital, they live their home lives, they
can take care of themselves, their vital signs were stable,
there was no communication barrier in language for them,
all of them had received an education at least in a junior
high school, and most of them were voluntary to partici-
pate in the community health educational activities. The
average age was (57 ± 7.2) years. There were 59 male
and 47 female patients including 15 cases of pancreatic
cancer, 18 cases of breast cancer, 16 cases of cervical
cancer, 6 cases of rectal cancer, 22 cases of gastric can-
cer, 11 cases of lung cancer and 5 cases of esophageal
cancer. The selected requirement for the community
nurses who would implement the human care included
that they had to have at least more than 10 years of clini-
cal experience, and they should have gained some under-
standing in the theoretical connotation of human care, the
knowledge of human care, the skill for communication
with patients, and knowing about the concept of humane
care and the status of human care. 12 nurses who met the
selected requirement were appointed to carry out the
human care for the patients in their own communities.
2.2. Methods
The 93 patients selected were assessed on the existing
quality of life. Based on the quality life scale (SF-36) [4],
*Corresponding a uthor.
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the assessment was conducted according to 8 dimensions
and 35 items. The eight dimensions included the physio-
logical function (10 items), physical performance (4
items), general health (5 items), body pain (2 items), vi-
tality (4 items), social communication function (2 items),
emotional functions (3 items) and mental health (5 ite ms).
The score of the physiological function was 1030
points, the score of body pain was 2 ~ 11 points, and all
the other items were 1 ~ 5 points. The score for each item
was positively proportion al to the quality of life.
The happiness indexes of 93 Patients selected were
assessed and assessment was conducted based on Me-
morial University of Newfoundland scale of Happiness
(MUNSH) [5]. MUNSH contains 24 items. Among the
24 items, 10 items are considered to reflect the positive
and negative emotions, 5 items the positive emotion (PA),
5 items the negative emotion (NA), 14 items positive and
negative experiences, 7 items the positive experience
(PE), and 7 items the negative experience (NE). The total
happiness index: PA-NA + PE-NE. The determination of
score was based on the following rule: that the answer to
each item was yeswas recorded 2 points, that the an-
swer to each item was I don’t knowwas recorded 1
point, and that the answer to each item was No” was
recorded 0 point; that the answer to item 19 was the
residence where he or she is living nowwas recorded
points and any other residencewas recorded 0 point;
that the answer to item 23 was satisfactory” was rec-
orded 2 points and “unsatisfying” was recorded 0 point.
The range of the total average point was from 24 to +24
points. In order to be easy to calculate the score, 24, as
the constant, was added, and the score range was from 0
to 48; the higher the score the higher the happiness index.
The community nurses implemented their human care
by applying the 10 factors for the human care described
in the theory of human care set up by Dr. Watson J. The
patients were made three appointments a week, the time
for each appointment was not less than 60 minutes, the
care was implemented in a way of a small course or sep-
arately aiming at the particular case for different patients
and the appointment could not be missed. During the
care, the human care were particularly emphasized,
science and humanities knowledge was integrated and
used to communicate with the patients, and the human
care was completed based on 10 factors proposed in the
theory of human care. 10 factors for human included
forming a value system of the human altruism; inculcat-
ing a trust and hope; developing a sensitivity of them-
selves and others; building up a relationship in helping,
trusting and caring; encouraging and accepting the ex-
pression of positive emotions and negative emotions
from the clients; applying scientific methods to solve
problems in the decision-making system; providing a
psychological, social and spiritual environment to sup-
port, protect and correct them; helping meet individual
needs; allowing the presence of existentialism, phenom-
enology and spiritual power. The community nurses
should follow the nature of human care to give the pa-
tients with cancer a psychological support and cultural
care, answer any questions for them or explain the re-
lated successful stories and so on.
After the community human care was implemented
over 3 months, the life quality and the happiness index of
the 93 patients was assessed again based on the life qual-
ity scale (SF-36) and MUN SH.
2.3. Statistical Method
SPSS soft ware was used to analyze the survey data in
this study. The least significant difference (LSD) and
SNK variance analysis methods were applied to compare
a pair of data obtained before the care and after the care.
P < 0.05 meant a significant difference.
3. Results
The results showed that both patients’ life quality and
happiness index after the human care were different from
those before the human care, there were significant dif-
ferences in 5 dimensions which could reflect the life
quality of the patien ts, such as physical performance, life
vitality, social communication ability, emotion al function
and spiritual health (<0.05), which were shown in Table
1 in detail; average scores of the positive emotion and
positive experience were significantly increased after the
care (<0.05), those of the negative emotion and the nega-
tive experience were significantly decreased (<0.05), and
the difference in the total average sore of the happiness
index was significant before and after the application of
the human care theory (<0.05), which were shown in
Table 2 in detail. The assessment on the life quality and
Table 1. Comparison in SF-36 score between before and
after the implementation of the human care theory (points)
Average sore at the
first assess Average sore after
the human care p values
13.21 ± 6.12 13.91 ± 4.62 >0.05
6.06 ± 2.22 7.81 ± 1.82 <0.05
General health
10.03 ± 3.57 10.52 ± 4.89 >0.05
Physical pain
6.25 ± 3.09 6.94 ± 4.99 >0.05
Life vitality
8.71 ± 4.28 12.29 ± 5.97 <0.05
Social contact
6.42 ± 5.83 8.97 ± 2.72 <0.05
4.14 ± 3.36 5.76 ± 1.79 <0.05
Spiritual health
8.63 ± 4.18 13.11 ± 2.79 <0.05
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Table 2. Compar ison in happiness betw een before and after
the implementation of the human care theory (points)
Before the
Before the
p values
Positive emotion
2.75 ± 2.8 4.82 ± 2.5 <0.05
Negative emotion
7.26 ± 2.4 4.31 ± 3.7 <0.05
Positive experience
4.13 ± 2.6 6.82 ± 3.3 <0.05
Negative experience
11.03 ± 2.7 9.25 ± 2.6 <0.05
Total happiness score
12.59 ± 2.8 22.08 ± 3.7 <0.05
happiness index of patients with cancer based on SF-36
and MUNSH demonstrated that the application of human
care theory could improve the life quality and happiness
index of patients with cancer.
4. Discussion
It is well known that the daily life of cancer patients is
limited, their life skills are decreased significantly, their
social activities are reduced, they are always lack of in-
terpersonal communications and emotional support, and
often show a negative attitude to the present life, and
moreover, the disease can cause the decrease in their
body resistan ces to directly affect th e life quality of them
and the happiness index. Community nurses applied the
human care theory to give a respect to the personality of
the patients and look after the m with a personalized care,
which can give the patients an individualized treatment.
The care emphasized on patient-centered and the service
for the clients with love, patience and in an all-around
way, which could improve the life quality of patients
with cancer significantly. The results in this study
showed that compared with those before the implementa-
tion, there were significant differences in the factors
which can be used to assess the life quality of patients
with cancer, such as the physiological performance, so-
cial function, emotional function, mental health and vi-
tality after the implementation of the human care theory
(p < 0.05), there was no significant difference in physio-
logical function, general health and body pain (p > 0.05),
and the happiness index of the patients was significantly
elevated after the implementation of the human care
theory. Therefore, the theory and the method of human
care should be applied universally, and all nurses should
understand the meaning of human care theory and the
knowledge of human care in their future work. It is be-
lieved that the application of the human care theory will
be a new developme nt in nursi ng.
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