Group-based trajectory modeling of fear of disease recurrence among women recently diagnosed with gynecological cancers

Sharon L Manne, Shannon Myers-Virtue, David Kissane, Melissa L. Ozga, Deborah A. Kashy, Stephen C. Rubin, Norman G. Rosenblum, Carolyn J. Heckman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Fear of cancer recurrence is an important clinical phenomenon and is associated with decrements in life domains. The study goals were to characterize patterns of global fear of recurrence (FOR) and four domains of fear (health, role, womanhood, and death worry) over time in women who were diagnosed with gynecological cancer and to identify demographic, medical, and psychological predictors of FOR.
Method: One hundred eighteen women participating in the Usual Care arm of a randomized trial completed the Concerns about Recurrence scale as well as measures of depressive symptoms, cancer-specific distress, coping, coping efficacy, and social network responses at four time points. The majority of the sample was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer.
Results: Group-based trajectory modeling identified subgroups of women with high-stable (49.1%), high-decreasing (25.3%), and low-stable (25.5%) trajectories for global FOR. For role worries, three similar group trajectories were identified. For health worries, modeling identified subgroups with high-decreasing (19.1%) and low-increasing (80.9%) trajectories. For womanhood worries, modeling identified subgroups with high-increasing (15.7%) and low-decreasing (84.2%) trajectories. Young age, metastatic cancer, depression, cancer distress, holding back, and lower coping efficacy were associated with the high-stable global FOR and at least one domain of FOR.
Conclusion: Almost half of the women recently diagnosed with gynecological cancer evidence persistently elevated FOR over the six month period post-diagnosis. Psychological interventions to reduce FOR may be more effective if they focus on teaching patients coping skills, as well as greater comfort expressing cancer-specific concerns to others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1799-1809
Number of pages11
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • coping with cancer
  • emotional expressivity
  • gynecological cancer
  • psychological adaptation
  • recurrence fear

Cite this