Purpose: Approximately 50% of cancer survivors experience moderate-severe fear of cancer recurrence (FCR). Self-guided digital interventions have potential to address the high level of FCR-related unmet needs at scale, but existing digital interventions have demonstrated variable engagement and efficacy. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of iConquerFear, a five-module self-guided digital FCR intervention. Methods: Eligible curatively treated breast cancer survivors were recruited. Participants reporting clinically significant FCR (≥ 13 on the Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory-Short Form; FCRI-SF) were given access to iConquerFear. Feasibility was indicated by > 50% of eligible participants enrolling in iConquerFear and recording moderate (≥ 120 min) or greater usage. Preliminary efficacy was evaluated via changes in self-reported FCR severity, anxiety, depression, intrusions and metacognitions from baseline to immediately and 3 months post-intervention. Results: Fifty-four (83%) of 65 eligible participants enrolled in iConquerFear; six subsequently withdrew. Thirty-nine (83%) participants recorded moderate (n = 24; 120–599 min) or high (n = 15; ≥ 600 min) usage. Engagement levels increased with participant age (p = 0.043), but were lower in participants with higher baseline FCR (p = 0.028). Qualitative feedback indicated engagement was sometimes limited by difficulties with navigation and relating to featured survivors. Participants reported significantly improved FCR (mean reduction (95%CI): baseline to post-intervention − 3.44 (− 5.18, − 1.71), baseline to 3-month follow-up − 4.52 (− 6.25, − 2.78), p = < 0.001). Conclusion: iConquerFear is a feasible and potentially efficacious intervention for reducing FCR in breast cancer survivors. Easier navigation and more relatable examples may enhance engagement. Implications for Cancer Survivors: iConquerFear may help address moderate but burdensome FCR levels in cancer survivors.
- fear of cancer recurrence