• Fear of cancer recurrence in oral and oropharyngeal cancer patients: An investigation of the clinical encounter

      Ozakinci, Gozde; Swash, Brooke; Humphris, Gerry; Rogers, Simon; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; University of St Andrews; University of Chester; Edge Hill University (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017-10-12)
      Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is common among individuals treated for cancer. Explorations of how this fear is expressed within an oncology setting and responded to are currently lacking. The aim was to investigate how head and neck cancer survivors in follow-up consultations express FCR, how a health care professional addresses recurrence fears, and examining how survivors experience this interaction. We recorded the follow-up consultations of those participants who have reported FCR as a concern on the Patient Concerns Inventory. We also conducted a follow-up phone interview with the participants. We analysed the transcripts using thematic analysis. Five men and six women were recruited, aged 55-87 (mean age = 64). Follow-up consultation analyses revealed that the consultant used ‘normalising FCR,’ ‘reassurance,’ and ‘offer of referral to a counsellor’. Interviews revealed themes around how they coped with FCR, relevance of personal history on FCR, and the impact of feeling gratitude towards the consultant on expression of FCR. Analyses indicate that patients may feel reluctant to raise their FCR with their clinician for fear of appearing ‘ungrateful’ or of damaging a relationship that is held in high esteem. Findings indicate the initiation of FCR with patients can be beneficial for patient support.
    • Protocol for a systematic review of screening tools for fear of recurrent illness in common life threatening diseases

      Jones, Jenny; Kane, Paul; Polson, Rob; Leslie, Stephen J.; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Simard, Sébastien; Ozakinci, Gozde; Hubbard, Gill; University of Plymouth ; University of Stirling ; Highland Health Sciences Library ; University of Stirling/Highland Heartbeat Centre ; University of Chester ; Hospital Laval, Québec ; University of St Andrews ; University of Stirling (BioMed Central, 2015-03-19)
      A myocardial infarction (MI) (‘heart attack’) can be intensely stressful, and the impact of this event can leave patients with clinically significant post-MI stress symptoms. Untreated stress can make heart disease worse. Few tools are available that screen for specific thoughts or beliefs that can trigger post-MI stress responses. In other life-threatening illnesses, fear of recurrence (FoR) of illness has been identified as a key stressor, and screening tools have been developed to identify this. The aim of this review is to identify FoR screening tools used in other common life-threatening diseases that report on the development of the tool, to assess if there are any that can be adapted for use in MI survivors so that those with high levels of FoR can be identified and helped.