The longitudinal course of emotional and cognitive factors of fear of cancer recurrence in breast cancer patients and their partners

Amy K. Otto, Emily C. Soriano, Stefanie T. LoSavio, Scott D. Siegel, Christine Perndorfer, Alyssa L. Fenech, Jean Philippe Laurenceau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Although fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) has been conceptualized as a multidimensional construct with emotional and cognitive components, little work has distinguished or assessed both components. Further, most existing research has not included intimate partners of cancer patients, although they also experience FCR. This study aimed to (1) determine whether FCR is better conceptualized as a singular or multidimensional construct at the within-person level over time and (2) model the corresponding trajectories in patients and their partners. Methods: Female early stage breast cancer patients and their partners (N = 78 couples) completed up to five assessments over the first year post-diagnosis tapping both emotional and cognitive elements of FCR. Multilevel confirmatory factor analysis was used to evaluate FCR's factor structure, and multivariate latent growth curve modeling was used to estimate trajectories of emotional and cognitive FCR. Results: FCR was best conceptualized as two distinct but related emotional and cognitive factors. In patients and partners, emotional FCR decreased over the first year post-diagnosis on average, while cognitive FCR did not change over time. Conclusions: Findings support the conceptualization of FCR as a multidimensional construct and underscore the potential importance of distinguishing emotional and cognitive components of FCR in future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1229
Number of pages9
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume31
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • cancer
  • cancer survivors
  • cognition
  • emotions
  • factor analysis
  • fear
  • oncology
  • recurrence
  • spouses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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