Health Behaviours, Illness Representations, Quality of Life, Coping, and Fear of Cancer Recurrence in Those Affected by Cancer

A special issue of Current Oncology (ISSN 1718-7729). This special issue belongs to the section "Psychosocial Oncology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2024 | Viewed by 8763

Special Issue Editor

Psychology Division, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK
Interests: fear of cancer recurrence; emotional self-regulation; community-based health promotion; physical activity; intervention development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fear of cancer recurrence, defined as ‘fear, worry, or concern about cancer returning or progressing’ (Lebel et al., 2016), is widely experienced by individuals and their loved ones and often features as a top unmet supportive need. These fears, if left unattended, can be related to maladaptive coping and intense distress. Globally, we have seen an increase in research that develops and tests different types of psychological interventions that assist those affected by cancer with these fears.

However, less is known about the relationship between health behaviours, illness representations, coping and these fears. A range of health behaviours may be impacted by fear of cancer recurrence, and the engagement of health behaviours may also assist individuals in coping with these fears. Although some evidence is emerging about the relationship between smoking and fear of cancer recurrence, we currently lack evidence on a broad range of health behaviours, from physical activity to cancer screening attendance to seeking support from primary care practitioners for these fears and the quality of life of those impacted by cancer. For this Special Issue of Current Oncology, we invite submissions that advance the literature on the relationships among fear of cancer recurrence, health behaviours, illness representations, quality of life and coping. Submissions that use a wide range of research methods from evidence synthesis to experimental methods are welcome, as are those that focus on fear of cancer recurrence of family caregivers.

I look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Gozde Ozakinci
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Current Oncology is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • fear of cancer recurrence
  • health behaviours
  • illness representations
  • quality of life
  • coping

Published Papers (5 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

17 pages, 318 KiB  
Article
Disruptions in Cancer Care Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Fear of Cancer Recurrence in Women with Breast Cancer: A Mixed-Methods Study
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 801-817; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020059 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 835
Abstract
Objective. This study investigated if fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) levels and the proportion of women having a clinical level of FCR differed by whether women had or had not experienced disruptions in their cancer tests and treatments due to the pandemic. Methods. [...] Read more.
Objective. This study investigated if fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) levels and the proportion of women having a clinical level of FCR differed by whether women had or had not experienced disruptions in their cancer tests and treatments due to the pandemic. Methods. We conducted a mixed-methods study between November 2020 and March 2021 among women diagnosed with breast cancer in the previous five years at the time of their entry in the study. Women completed a questionnaire online assessing disruptions in breast cancer tests and treatments due to the pandemic and the severity subscale of the Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with a subsample of 24 participants and were thematically analyzed. Results. The proportion of patients with a clinical level of FCR was significantly higher among those who experienced the postponement or cancellation of diagnostic and disease progression tests (e.g., blood tests, X-rays, or magnetic resonance imaging; adjusted PR = 1.27 95% CI = 1.13–1.43). Qualitative findings suggest that FCR was exacerbated by the pandemic context. In particular, perceived or actual barriers to care access due to the pandemic were identified as significant FCR-enhancing factors. Conclusions. These results highlight the need to keep diagnostic and progression tests as timely as possible to prevent increases in FCR levels and offer counselling about FCR when postponing or cancellation are inevitable. Full article
18 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
The Evaluation of the Suitability, Quality, and Readability of Publicly Available Online Resources for the Self-Management of Fear of Cancer Recurrence
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(1), 66-83; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31010005 - 22 Dec 2023
Viewed by 957
Abstract
Cancer survivors often rely on the internet for health information, which has varying levels of readability, suitability, and quality. There is a need for high-quality online self-management resources for cancer survivors with fear of cancer recurrence (FCR). This study evaluated the readability, suitability, [...] Read more.
Cancer survivors often rely on the internet for health information, which has varying levels of readability, suitability, and quality. There is a need for high-quality online self-management resources for cancer survivors with fear of cancer recurrence (FCR). This study evaluated the readability, suitability, and quality of publicly available online FCR self-management resources. A Google search using FCR-related keywords identified freely available FCR self-management resources for cancer survivors in English. Resource readability (reading grade level), suitability, and quality were evaluated using relevant assessment tools. Descriptive statistics and cluster analysis identified resources with higher suitability and quality scores. Mean resource (n = 23) readability score was grade 11 (SD = 1.6, Range = 9–14). The mean suitability score was 56.0% (SD = 11.4%, Range = 31.0–76.3%), indicating average suitability and the mean quality score was 53% (SD = 11.7%, Range = 27–80%), indicating fair quality. A cluster of 15 (65%) resources with higher suitability and quality scores was identified. There were no significant associations between suitability or quality scores and the type of organisation that published the resources. Online FCR self-management resources varied in readability, suitability and quality. Resources with higher quality and suitability scores relative to other resources are identified for use by healthcare professionals and cancer survivors. Resources that are more culturally appropriate, with lower reading grade levels and detailed self-management strategies are needed. Full article
14 pages, 643 KiB  
Article
Fear of Cancer Recurrence and Coping Strategies among Prostate Cancer Survivors: A Qualitative Study
Curr. Oncol. 2023, 30(7), 6720-6733; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol30070493 - 16 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1405
Abstract
Background: Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR), as a commonly reported problem among prostate cancer survivors, has not been fully understood. This study aimed to explore the experience of FCR and relevant coping strategies among Iranian prostate cancer survivors. Methods: Qualitative research was conducted [...] Read more.
Background: Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR), as a commonly reported problem among prostate cancer survivors, has not been fully understood. This study aimed to explore the experience of FCR and relevant coping strategies among Iranian prostate cancer survivors. Methods: Qualitative research was conducted on 13 men who completed treatments for prostate cancer in the last 24 months. The participants were selected through purposeful sampling, and in-depth semi-structured interviews were used for data collection. Conventional content analysis was used for data analysis. Results: Data analysis led to the emergence of three themes. “Living with insecurity” describes the participants’ experiences regarding what triggers FCR with two categories, including “fear of incomplete cure” and “fear of cancer return.” In addition, “struggling to cope” with two categories, including “psychological strategies” and “spiritual coping,” presents coping strategies used by the participants for reducing FCR. Furthermore, “trying to prevent cancer recurrence” with two categories, “seeking health” and “lifestyle modification,” indicates coping strategies used by the participants to prevent cancer recurrence. Conclusions: Healthcare providers need to consider the cultural characteristics of prostate cancer survivors when assessing their FCR, encourage them to disclose their concerns and fears, and provide tailored interventions in order to reduce FCR among them. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 291 KiB  
Article
Fear of Cancer Recurrence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2023, 30(3), 2900-2915; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol30030222 - 28 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1864
Abstract
Little is known about the fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) severity, coping strategies, or quality of life impacts for Indigenous populations. This mixed-methods study aimed to (1) quantify FCR levels among Indigenous Australian (i.e., Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) breast cancer survivors and [...] Read more.
Little is known about the fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) severity, coping strategies, or quality of life impacts for Indigenous populations. This mixed-methods study aimed to (1) quantify FCR levels among Indigenous Australian (i.e., Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) breast cancer survivors and (2) qualitatively explore experiences of FCR and the coping strategies used. Nineteen participants completed the Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory (FCRI); ten also completed a semi-structured interview. Interview transcripts were thematically analysed. Average FCR levels (Mean FCRI Total Score = 71.0, SD = 29.8) were higher than in previous studies of Australian breast cancer survivors, and 79% of participants reported sub-clinical or greater FCR (FCRI-Short Form ≥ 13/36). Qualitative themes revealed the pervasiveness of FCR, its impact on family, and exacerbation by experience/family history of comorbid health issues. Cultural identity, family, and a resilient mindset aided coping skills. Greater communication with healthcare providers about FCR and culturally safe and appropriate FCR care were desired. This study is the first to assess FCR among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander breast cancer survivors, extending the limited literature on FCR in Indigenous populations. Results suggest FCR is a significant issue in this population and will inform the development of culturally appropriate interventions to aid coping and improve quality of life. Full article
10 pages, 569 KiB  
Article
Triggers and Coping Strategies for Fear of Cancer Recurrence in Cancer Survivors: A Qualitative Study
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(12), 9501-9510; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29120746 - 03 Dec 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2029
Abstract
Background: Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) has been demonstrated to be one of the most frequently reported unmet psychological needs among cancer survivors. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the potential triggers and coping strategies for FCR in Chinese [...] Read more.
Background: Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) has been demonstrated to be one of the most frequently reported unmet psychological needs among cancer survivors. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the potential triggers and coping strategies for FCR in Chinese cancer survivors. Methods: The study process was conducted using an interpretive phenomenological research method, and Chinese cancer survivors were interviewed face-to-face in a semi-structured interview, using purposive sampling combined with a maximum variance sampling strategy, and the interviews were transcribed, organized, and analyzed by applying Giorgi analysis with the help of NVivo11 software. Results: A total of 10 participants, 4 males and 6 females, were interviewed. Three themes emerged in terms of potential triggers for FCR: (1) intrusive thoughts; (2) disease symptoms; and (3) awaiting medical examination. Two themes regarding positive coping and avoidance coping emerged with regard to coping strategies adopted by cancer survivors when experiencing FCR. Under these 2 themes were 5 sub-themes: (1) seeking medical support; (2) self-health management; (3) spiritual coping; (4) unaccompanied toleration; and (5) attention shifting. Conclusion: FCR as the most common psychological problem for cancer survivors, and it should be given more attention. Early identification and precise intervention for potential triggers of FCR may prevent the emergence and development of FCR. The guidance toward and cultivation of positive coping strategies when cancer survivors experience FCR could be an important direction in future nursing education. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop