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Screening for fear of cancer recurrence: instrument validation and current status in early stage lung cancer patients

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Yun-Hsiang Lee, Chan-Chuan Hu, Gerry Humphris, I-Chin Huang, Kai-Lin You, Sin-Yuan Jhang, Jin-Shing Chen, Yeur-Hur Lai

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Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is one of the most distressing concerns for cancer patients. A psychometrically validated brief scale is urgently needed for use in busy clinical oncology settings. This study aimed to (1) develop and validate the 7-item fear of cancer recurrence scale Chinese version (FCR7-C), and (2) explore the severity of FCR in post-operative early-stage lung cancer patients in Taiwan.


Early-stage lung cancer patients were recruited from a medical center in Taiwan. The FCR7-C was evaluated for content and construct validity and internal consistency reliability. Construct validity of FCR7-C was determined by the empirically supported correlation and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).


A total of 160 subjects were recruited. The FCR7-C was shown to have satisfactory content validity and internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's α = 0.9). The uni-dimensional structure was confirmed by CFA that showed a good fit for the model. The FCR7-C score correlates positively with the degree of most of the physical symptoms, anxiety, and depression, but correlates negatively with patient age, performance status, and quality of life. We found that 81.9% of patients reported at least some FCR, with a mean FCR severity of 15.18 (SD = 7.78).


FCR7-C is a brief screening tool with good psychometrics. Patients with early-stage lung cancer still revealed mild to moderate level of FCR. Applying the FCR7-C for to screen cancer patients’ distress and further develop personalized psychological interventions would be strongly suggested.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1108
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number6
Early online date31 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • Cancer, Psychological distress, Fear of cancer recurrence, Psychometrics

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