Mutsaers B, Lebel S, Butow P, Dinkel A, Humphris G, Maheu C, Ozakinci G, Prins J, Sharpe L, Smith A & Thewes B (2018) Defining features of clinical fear of cancer recurrence: The results of an international Delphi study. 20th World Congress of Psycho‐Oncology, Hong Kong. Psycho-Oncology, 27 (S3), pp. 52-52. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/10991611/2018/27/S3
Purpose: Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) ranges from low, normative cancer worry to high FCR that can impact quality of life. Accurately measuring FCR has been challenging because there are no agreed‐upon characteristics of high or clinical levels of FCR. At an international colloquium held in 2015, preliminary features of clinical FCR were determined. A formal Delphi consensus method was used in the spring of 2018 to establish the defining features of clinical FCR. Methods: Sixty‐five international “experts” on FCR (clinicians, researchers) have thus far completed the first of three rounds of online questionnaires where they rated and suggested potential features of clinical FCR. The results of previous rounds will influence sub-sequent rounds until consensus is reached.
Results: After the first of three rounds of questionnaires, high levels of preoccupation and high levels of worry were endorsed by more than 80% of participants. Other features and additional information such as the length of time the symptoms must be present, how many features must be present etc. for a cancer survivor to be considered to have clinical FCR will also be determined. Final results will be presented.
Conclusions: Establishing consensus among experts on the defining characteristics of clinical FCR is important for creating and validating measures of FCR severity. Measuring FCR severity accurately is crucial to ensure that cancer survivors who may benefit from psychosocial intervention are identified, and that changes during the course of interventions are accurately captured.
Psycho-Oncology: Volume 27, Issue S3