Fear of recurrence in long-term breast cancer survivors—still an issue. Results on prevalence, determinants, and the association with quality of life and depression from the Cancer Survivorship—a multi-regional population-based study
Article first published online: 30 NOV 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 23, Issue 5, pages 547–554, May 2014
How to Cite
Koch, L., Bertram, H., Eberle, A., Holleczek, B., Schmid-Höpfner, S., Waldmann, A., Zeissig, S. R., Brenner, H. and Arndt, V. (2014), Fear of recurrence in long-term breast cancer survivors—still an issue. Results on prevalence, determinants, and the association with quality of life and depression from the Cancer Survivorship—a multi-regional population-based study. Psycho-Oncology, 23: 547–554. doi: 10.1002/pon.3452
- Issue published online: 7 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 30 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 21 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Received: 25 OCT 2012
- the German Cancer Aid. Grant Number: 108262
- breast cancer;
- fear of recurrence;
Fear of recurrence (FoR) is a widespread problem among breast cancer survivors. So far, little is known about prevalence, determinants, and consequences of FoR specifically in long-term breast cancer survivors, even though it was found to be one of the most important concerns in this group.
Analyses are based on data of several population-based cohorts of long-term breast cancer survivors, recruited by six German cancer registries. Overall, 2671 women were included in the analyses. FoR was assessed using the short form of the Fear of Progression Questionnaire. Potential determinants of moderate/high FoR and the association with depression and quality of life (QoL) were explored via multiple logistic and linear regression.
Even though the majority of women reported low levels of FoR (82%), a substantial percentage experienced moderate (11%) and high (6%) FoR. Younger age (odds ratio = 3.00, confidence intervals = 1.91–4.73 for women below age 55 years) and considering oneself as a tumor patient (odds ratio = 3.36, confidence intervals = 2.66–4.25) were found to exhibit the strongest associations with moderate/high FoR. Overall, psychosocial and sociodemographic factors played a far bigger role in FoR than clinical factors. Higher FoR was associated with higher depression and lower QoL.
Fear of recurrence (mostly low levels) is highly prevalent among long-term breast cancer survivors and can negatively affect QoL and well-being. Therefore, it should be given appropriate consideration in research and clinical practice. As specifically younger women tended to be impacted by FoR, it is crucial to be particularly attentive to specific needs of younger survivors. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.