Meeting Abstract

Regulating fears of recurrence



Ozakinci G, Watson E, Sharpe N & Humphris G (2014) Regulating fears of recurrence. "Innovation in Behavioral Medicine" : International Congress of Behavioural Medicine 2014, Groningen. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 21 (Supplement 1), pp. S192-S192.

Introduction: Following the end of treatment, cancer patients are often faced with the task of managing their emotions about uncertainty of future cancer risk. In this study, we examined f fears of recurrence (FoR) in people who have been treated for cancer, the methods they use for regulating their fears, and the role of health care professionals in emotion regulation guided by Leventhal’s Self-regulation model. Method: We conducted 6 focus group discussions (3 for breast and 3 for colorectal) with 18 people classified having either low, moderate, or high FoR (12 women; aged 49 and over). Participants were asked to talk about triggers of recurrence fears and their methods of emotion regulation. A constant comparative technique was utilised to analyse the data. Results: Themes: importance of symptoms in triggering emotional reactions (e.g., general aches/pains, annual appointments) and ways of regulating these emotions (e.g., distraction, trust in health care team, future orientation). Health care professionals’ own emotions regarding recurrence had an impact on participants’ management of emotions. Conclusion: The findings speak to the similarities in the experience of people who have been treated for cancer and can be transferred to other illnesses that involve uncertainty about future. Health care professionals’ communication of their fears impacts on patient’s fears. This work has illuminated the significance of assessing people’s FoR following completion of treatment and symptom-related triggers for FoR.

International Journal of Behavioral Medicine: Volume 21, Issue Supplement 1

Publication date31/08/2014
Publication date online24/07/2014
Date accepted by journal01/11/2014
Conference"Innovation in Behavioral Medicine" : International Congress of Behavioural Medicine 2014
Conference locationGroningen

People (1)


Professor Gozde Ozakinci

Professor Gozde Ozakinci

Professor and Deputy Dean of Faculty, Psychology