How breast cancer survivors cope with fear of recurrence: A focus group study

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Abstract

Purpose
The aim of this qualitative study was to examine the ways in which breast cancer survivors cope with fear of recurrence.
Methods
Three focus groups were held with breast cancer survivors. Focus group interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using qualitative techniques. Coding was done on two levels: styles and strategies.
Results
Twenty-seven women participated. The majority of the women (74 %) were a little anxious, and some patients (11 %) were somewhat anxious about the possibility of cancer recurrence. Most women (74 %) indicated to think a few times a month about the possibility of cancer recurrence. Different coping styles were reported, but commonly, women (80 %) reported an emotion-focused coping strategy. About half of the women (49 %) used passive or avoidant coping styles.
Conclusion
The emotion-focused coping strategy was most commonly used. This information can be used to provide tailored psychosocial care.
Keywords: Fear of recurrence, Coping, Breast cancer, Qualitative design, Focus group
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-712
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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