Publications Search

Search for publications by author
Search for publications by abstract keyword(s)

Fear of cancer recurrence in patients undergoing germline genome sequencing


PURPOSE: Fear of cancer recurrence/occurrence (FCR/O) is prevalent and associated with poorer psychological outcomes but can also motivate individuals to pursue genomic information about cancer risk. Guided by Protection Motivation Theory, this study investigated FCR/O prevalence and associated factors among probands previously diagnosed with a cancer of likely heritable origin, and their relatives, who had agreed to have germline genome sequencing. METHODS: Three hundred and forty-eight probands and 167 relatives completed the Concerns about Recurrence Questionnaire (adapted for occurrence for some relatives) within 1 month of agreeing to undertake genome sequencing. Linear regressions investigated demographic, disease, attitude and behavioral associations with FCR/O. RESULTS: Probands demonstrated greater FCR compared to relatives. In probands, greater FCR was associated with being female, non-English speaking at home, less time since diagnosis, greater intention to change behavior if gene variant found, lower perceived ability to cope with results, higher perceived susceptibility to having a recurrence, and more negative attitudes towards uncertainty. For relatives with cancer, greater FCR was associated with being male, greater intention to change behavior if a gene variant found, and higher perceived susceptibility to recurrence. In relatives without cancer, greater FCO was associated with not having had genetic testing prior to this study, lower perceived ability to cope with results, and higher perceived susceptibility to developing cancer. CONCLUSION: Current findings on FCR/O prevalence and associated demographic and attitudinal variables in those who pursue genomic risk information might be used to target interventions that can prevent adverse psychological outcomes in vulnerable patients.

Type Journal
ISBN 1433-7339 (Electronic) 0941-4355 (Linking)
Authors Bartley, N.; Davies, G.; Butow, P.; Napier, C. E.; Schlub, T.; Ballinger, M. L.; Thomas, D. M.; Juraskova, I.; Meiser, B.; Best, M. C.
Published Date 2021-12-31
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1007/s00520-021-06311-9
URL link to publisher's version