Fear of cancer recurrence: a qualitative systematic review and meta-synthesis of patients' experiences

Susana N. Almeida, Robert Elliott, Eunice R. Silva, Célia M.D. Sales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is a significant issue for most cancer survivors, with nearly half of cancer survivors reporting it at moderate to high levels of intensity. We aimed to further explore the experience of having FCR from the point of view of patients by systematically reviewing qualitative studies. Following PRISMA guidelines, 87 qualitative studies were selected. All participants' quotes about FRC were extracted, then analysed using a conceptual framework based on the emotion-focused therapy theory of emotion schemes, which consist of experienced/implicit emotions, along with perceptual-situational, bodily-expressive, symbolic-conceptual and motivational-behavioral elements. According to participant descriptions, FCR was found to be an intense, difficult, multi-dimensional experience. Considering the diversity of experiences identified, it is useful to look at FCR as an emotional experience that extends along a continuum of adaptive and maladaptive responses. For some participants, FCR was described in trauma-like terms, including forms of re-experiencing, avoidance, negative thoughts and feelings, and arousal or reactivity related to cancer-related triggers or memories. Vivid metaphors expressing vulnerability and conflict also reflect the strong impact of FCR in patients' lives and can help therapists empathize with their clients.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Early online date21 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Dec 2018

Fingerprint

Fear
Recurrence
Neoplasms
Emotions
Survivors
Metaphor
Arousal
Guidelines
Wounds and Injuries

Keywords

  • cancer
  • fear of cancer recurrence
  • qualitative
  • emotion schemes
  • systematic review

Cite this

@article{a81f9296845640d28db2bac077634656,
title = "Fear of cancer recurrence: a qualitative systematic review and meta-synthesis of patients' experiences",
abstract = "Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is a significant issue for most cancer survivors, with nearly half of cancer survivors reporting it at moderate to high levels of intensity. We aimed to further explore the experience of having FCR from the point of view of patients by systematically reviewing qualitative studies. Following PRISMA guidelines, 87 qualitative studies were selected. All participants' quotes about FRC were extracted, then analysed using a conceptual framework based on the emotion-focused therapy theory of emotion schemes, which consist of experienced/implicit emotions, along with perceptual-situational, bodily-expressive, symbolic-conceptual and motivational-behavioral elements. According to participant descriptions, FCR was found to be an intense, difficult, multi-dimensional experience. Considering the diversity of experiences identified, it is useful to look at FCR as an emotional experience that extends along a continuum of adaptive and maladaptive responses. For some participants, FCR was described in trauma-like terms, including forms of re-experiencing, avoidance, negative thoughts and feelings, and arousal or reactivity related to cancer-related triggers or memories. Vivid metaphors expressing vulnerability and conflict also reflect the strong impact of FCR in patients' lives and can help therapists empathize with their clients.",
keywords = "cancer, fear of cancer recurrence, qualitative, emotion schemes, systematic review",
author = "Almeida, {Susana N.} and Robert Elliott and Silva, {Eunice R.} and Sales, {C{\'e}lia M.D.}",
year = "2018",
month = "12",
day = "21",
doi = "10.1016/j.cpr.2018.12.001",
language = "English",
journal = "Clinical Psychology Review",
issn = "0272-7358",

}

Fear of cancer recurrence : a qualitative systematic review and meta-synthesis of patients' experiences. / Almeida, Susana N.; Elliott, Robert; Silva, Eunice R.; Sales, Célia M.D.

In: Clinical Psychology Review, 21.12.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Fear of cancer recurrence

T2 - Clinical Psychology Review

AU - Almeida, Susana N.

AU - Elliott, Robert

AU - Silva, Eunice R.

AU - Sales, Célia M.D.

PY - 2018/12/21

Y1 - 2018/12/21

N2 - Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is a significant issue for most cancer survivors, with nearly half of cancer survivors reporting it at moderate to high levels of intensity. We aimed to further explore the experience of having FCR from the point of view of patients by systematically reviewing qualitative studies. Following PRISMA guidelines, 87 qualitative studies were selected. All participants' quotes about FRC were extracted, then analysed using a conceptual framework based on the emotion-focused therapy theory of emotion schemes, which consist of experienced/implicit emotions, along with perceptual-situational, bodily-expressive, symbolic-conceptual and motivational-behavioral elements. According to participant descriptions, FCR was found to be an intense, difficult, multi-dimensional experience. Considering the diversity of experiences identified, it is useful to look at FCR as an emotional experience that extends along a continuum of adaptive and maladaptive responses. For some participants, FCR was described in trauma-like terms, including forms of re-experiencing, avoidance, negative thoughts and feelings, and arousal or reactivity related to cancer-related triggers or memories. Vivid metaphors expressing vulnerability and conflict also reflect the strong impact of FCR in patients' lives and can help therapists empathize with their clients.

AB - Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is a significant issue for most cancer survivors, with nearly half of cancer survivors reporting it at moderate to high levels of intensity. We aimed to further explore the experience of having FCR from the point of view of patients by systematically reviewing qualitative studies. Following PRISMA guidelines, 87 qualitative studies were selected. All participants' quotes about FRC were extracted, then analysed using a conceptual framework based on the emotion-focused therapy theory of emotion schemes, which consist of experienced/implicit emotions, along with perceptual-situational, bodily-expressive, symbolic-conceptual and motivational-behavioral elements. According to participant descriptions, FCR was found to be an intense, difficult, multi-dimensional experience. Considering the diversity of experiences identified, it is useful to look at FCR as an emotional experience that extends along a continuum of adaptive and maladaptive responses. For some participants, FCR was described in trauma-like terms, including forms of re-experiencing, avoidance, negative thoughts and feelings, and arousal or reactivity related to cancer-related triggers or memories. Vivid metaphors expressing vulnerability and conflict also reflect the strong impact of FCR in patients' lives and can help therapists empathize with their clients.

KW - cancer

KW - fear of cancer recurrence

KW - qualitative

KW - emotion schemes

KW - systematic review

UR - https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/clinical-psychology-review

U2 - 10.1016/j.cpr.2018.12.001

DO - 10.1016/j.cpr.2018.12.001

M3 - Article

JO - Clinical Psychology Review

JF - Clinical Psychology Review

SN - 0272-7358

ER -