Journal of clinical psychology in medical settings

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Fear of Cancer Recurrence: A Case Study.

PMID 29468568


This case study describes the course and content of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for clinical fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) in a breast cancer survivor. The CBT for clinical FCR consisted of seven face-to-face therapy sessions and one telephone session. The primary treatment goal was to reduce FCR severity by modifying cognitive processes and dysfunctional behavior. Assessments of FCR and quality of life were completed by the breast cancer survivor pre-therapy, post-therapy, and at 6 and 12 months of post-therapy. In each treatment session, perceived control over FCR was assessed. A clinical nurse specialist participated in evaluation interviews. The patient's perceived control over FCR increased during the therapy, and FCR severity declined to a non-clinical level. This improvement was still evident at the 6- and 12-month follow-up assessments and was supported by results for secondary and exploratory outcomes measures. FCR offers a great challenge for health care professionals due to the lack of effective treatment options. This case study shows how clinical FCR can be addressed with CBT and can contribute to the improvement of care for cancer survivors.