A single item screening question for fear of recurrence in head and neck cancer

Simon Rogers, Ben Cross, Cyrus Talwar, Derek Lowe, Gerald Michael Humphris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Fear of recurrence (FoR) is the most frequent concern patients wish to discuss in head and neck review clinics.

Aim: To design a simple screening question on fear of recurrence to be incorporated into the University of Washington Quality of Life Questionnaire (UW-QOLv4), for use in clinical practice.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey comprising 528 patients.

Results: 11% selected the two most severe FoR categories. FoR responses correlated strongly (Spearman rs=-0.82) with the mean score of the 7 items of the Fear of Recurrence Questionnaire. There was also a strong association with anxiety and mood dysfunction as measured from the UW-QOL, and with overall QOL. Patients more affected by FoR tended to be younger and post radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

Conclusion: The FoR screening question should be bolted on to the UW-QOLv4 in order to help identify patients with significant FoR might benefit from further intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1235-1242
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number5
Early online date7 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Fear of recurrence
  • Patient reported outcomes
  • Health related quality of life
  • Head and neck cancer
  • UW-QOL


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