Date of Conferral







Christopher Bass


Improvements in the medical field have given many cancer patients and survivors better odds of long-term survival. As more patients become survivors, the demand for psychological treatment becomes greater. The most prevalent concern of survivors is getting help with a psychosocial condition known as fear of recurrence (FOR). Prior to this study, few researchers had explored how having a more aggressive cancer influences the development of FOR. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine whether cancer stage and type (a measurement of severity) are predictive of FOR development in the high-risk cancer groups lung and bronchus and female breast. The theoretical framework guiding this research was based on Mishel's theory of uncertainty in illness, which states that uncertainties about illness recurrence can cause survivors to experience breakdown in their lives (whether psychological and/or physical). The fear of cancer recurrence inventory (FCRI) survey was administered to 97 lung and bronchus and female breast cancer survivors; the survivors were asked to rate their level of discomfort about the possibility of a cancer recurrence. Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression. The results indicated that cancer type and severity both impacted the development and severity of FOR in lung and bronchus and female breast cancer survivors. Furthermore, regardless of the cancer type, stage of cancer, age of the survivor, or years in remission, survivors reported clinical levels of FOR in all areas of concern. Practitioners can use the current findings to work towards developing better intervention and treatment programs that promote quality survivorship and reduce the risk and rate of FOR in high risk cancer populations.