High fear of cancer recurrence in Chinese newly diagnosed cancer patients

Xian Luo, Wengao Li, Yuan Yang, Gerald Humphris, Lijuan Zeng, Zijun Zhang, Samradhvi Garg, Bin Zhang, Hengwen Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is common among cancer patients and of high clinical relevance. This study explores the prevalence and correlates of FCR in Chinese newly diagnosed cancer population.

Methods: This is a multicentre, cross-sectional study that includes 996 patients with mixed cancer diagnosis. All recently diagnosed patients completed a questionnaire consisting of the following: Fear of Progression Questionnaire-Short Form (FoP-Q-SF), General Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD-7), and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Univariate analyses, multivariate logistic regression analyses, and structural equation modeling (SEM) was performed to examine the association between tested variables and FCR.

Results: Of the 996 patients, 643 (64.6%) reported high FCR (scored ≥ 34 in the FoP-Q-SF). Chemotherapy (OR = 1.941), Childhood severe illness experience (OR = 2.802), depressive (OR = 1.153), and anxiety (OR = 1.249) symptoms were positively associated with high FCR, while higher monthly income (OR = 0.592) was negatively associated with high FCR. SEM indicated that emotional disturbances (anxiety and depression) directly influenced FCR, while emotional disturbances partly mediated the association between personal monthly income and FCR.

Conclusion: High FCR is a frequently reported problem among newly diagnosed cancer patients. Various factors increased the likelihood of the development of FCR. Flexible psychological interventions are needed for patients with high FCR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1287
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2020


  • Cancer
  • Chinese
  • Fear of recurrence
  • Newly diagnosed
  • Structural equation modeling


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