A cross-sectional survey of breast cancer survivors showed that women who experienced clinical and subclinical fear of cancer recurrence also experienced higher supportive care needs across 5 different domains. On the other hand, in participants with nonclinical fear of cancer recurrence, the most common supportive care needs were in the domain of “Health care system/Information.” These findings were published in the European Journal of Oncology Nursing.
This cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the supportive care needs of breast cancer survivors in the context of nonclinical, subclinical, and clinical fear of cancer recurrence. A total of 385 breast cancer survivors completed a series of online questionnaires: supportive care needs were evaluated via the 34-item Supportive Care Needs Survey and fear of cancer recurrence was measured via the Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory. Participants were recruited from an outpatient clinic and 2 breast-surgery departments at a university-affiliated hospital in Henan, China.
Nearly half of participants (47.8%; 184 patients) reported nonclinical fear of cancer recurrence. Subclinical fear of cancer recurrence occurred in 38.2% (147) of participants, and clinical fear of cancer recurrence occurred in 14.0% (54) of participants.
The higher the level of fear of cancer recurrence (FCR), the higher the levels of supportive care needs across 5 domains (β = 0.30-0.60; P <.001) after statistically adjusting for location of residence, level of education, motherhood, and time since diagnosis. In participants with subclinical and clinical fear of recurrence, the most common needs were in the “Psychological” domain, occurring in 85.7% of subclinical fear of recurrence and 96.3% of clinical fear of recurrence. The most common domain in participants with nonclinical fear of cancer recurrence occurred in 50.5% of these women and was in the “Health care system/Information” domain.
This study emphasizes the importance of timely psychological support for breast cancer survivors experiencing subclinical and clinical fear of cancer recurrence.
“These results imply that timely psychological support should be provided to women with subclinical or clinical FCR [fear of cancer recurrence] to meet their needs in helping to cope with the uncertainty, fear, and worry caused by the possibility of recurrence,” stated the authors.
Lyu MM, Siah RCJ, Zhao J, Cheng KKF. Supportive care needs of breast cancer survivors with different levels of fear of cancer recurrence: a cross-sectional survey study. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2023;66:102360. doi:10.1016/j.ejon.2023.102360