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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport eTheses
Title: Being one of the cancer statistics: a focus on patients whose cancers recur
Author(s): Stewart, Ross J
Supervisor(s): Donaldson, Jayne
Cruickshank, Susanne
Humphris, Gerald M
Keywords: cancer
fear of progression
fear of recurrence
Issue Date: Jun-2023
Publisher: University of Stirling
Citation: Stewart, R.J., Humphris, G.M., Donaldson, J. and Cruickshank, S., (2021). Does Cancer Type Influence the Impact of Recurrence? A Review of the Experience of Patients With Breast or Prostate Cancer Recurrence. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, p.635660.
Abstract: Background: The recurrence of cancer will significantly impact an individual’s quality of life (QoL) as they adjust to living with an incurable condition. However, several areas related to the well-being of patients after a recurrence remain unexplored. For instance, fear of cancer progression (FOP) at this time is not commonly examined. Importantly, these fears are known to reach levels in which there are consequences to psychosocial QoL. Methods: This study sought to explore levels of FOP, health-related QoL, anxiety, and depression in patients after a recurrence of their cancer in a longitudinal manner. With the study taking place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, an assessment of fears related to cancer and the pandemic was included. A sequential mixed method approach was employed for complementarity and expansion purposes. A questionnaire was administered to 24 participants on three different occasions a month apart. A sub-sample of 10 participants then took part in semi-structured interviews. Findings: FOP was present at moderate levels in patients with a cancer recurrence, with almost half of the sample reaching levels considered dysfunctional. Levels of fear were stable over three months and were not predicted by select demographic or clinical factors. On average, depression was low, but anxiety reached mild levels. Challenges to health-related QoL were evident. Low levels of concern about COVID-19 in relation to cancer were reported. Integrated findings provided more nuanced answers to the research questions, including more specific worries about cancer progression. Implications: Findings support the development of psychosocial interventions to manage FOP, and future recommendations are provided. Identifying the presence of fears not commonly screened for after cancer recurrence adds to the existing knowledge in this area. Through acknowledging and attending to the psychosocial impact of FOP, healthcare professionals can provide tailored support to enhance the well-being of those with a recurrence of their cancer.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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