Medical, demographic and psychological correlates of fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) morbidity in breast, colorectal and melanoma cancer survivors with probable clinically significant FCR seeking psychological treatment through the ConquerFear study

the ConquerFear Authorship Group

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    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Purpose: Despite the prevalence of fear of cancer recurrence (FCR), understanding of factors underlying clinically significant FCR is limited. This study examined factors associated with greater FCR morbidity, according to a cognitive processing model, in cancer survivors who screened positively for clinically significant FCR seeking psychological treatment through the ConquerFear trial. Methods: Participants had completed treatment for breast, colorectal or melanoma cancer 2 months to 5 years previously and scored ≥ 13/36 on the Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory-Short Form (FCRI-SF). Hierarchical regression analyses examined associations between demographic, medical and psychological variables, namely metacognitions (MCQ-30), post-traumatic stress symptoms (IES-R) and FCR (FCRI total score). Results: Two hundred and ten (95%) of the 222 cancer survivors who consented to the ConquerFear trial completed the baseline questionnaire. Participants were predominantly (89%) breast cancer survivors. The final regression model accounted for 68% of the variance in FCR (demographic and medical variables 13%, metacognitions 26%, post-traumatic stress symptoms 28%). Negative metacognitive beliefs about worry and intrusive post-traumatic stress symptoms were significant individual correlates of FCR, but negative beliefs about worry did not significantly moderate the impact of intrusions on FCR morbidity. Conclusions: Results provide partial support for the cognitive processing model of FCR. Psychological factors were found to play an important role in FCR morbidity after controlling for demographic/medical factors. More intrusive thoughts and negative beliefs about worry were strong independent predictors of FCR morbidity. Cancer survivors with clinically significant FCR may benefit from assessment for intrusive thoughts and metacognitions and delivery of trauma- and/or metacognitive-based interventions accordingly.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4207-4216
    Number of pages10
    JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
    Volume26
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

    Keywords

    • Cancer
    • Fear of cancer recurrence
    • Metacognitions
    • Post-traumatic stress
    • Supportive care
    • Survivorship

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