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Who has more anxiety concerning a shortened life span: terminal cancer patients or those in curative therapy?

, : Who has more anxiety concerning a shortened life span: terminal cancer patients or those in curative therapy?. Psychotherapie, Psychosomatik, Medizinische Psychologie 60(7): 255-261

The aim of this study is to investigate whether there is a difference in the amount of fear of the advancement (progression) and return (relapse) of cancer shown by terminal cancer patients and those in curative therapy. The cohort consists of 291 rehabilitation patients, main diagnoses were colonic/rectal-, breast- and prostate cancer. The patients were questioned using the fear of progression questionnaire (PA-F-KF) and a Five-Item Fear of Relapse/Recurrence Scale. Patients in palliative care and those in curative therapy are equally fearful of the disease progressing. When comparing both groups for fear of relapse however, those patients in palliative care are more anxious. This apparently paradoxical result can be seen as being an expression of the highly debilitating fear experienced by terminally ill cancer patients. Simultaneously, patients try to keep up their hope by unconsciously reinterpreting the actual progress of the disease as being a potential relapse.


PMID: 19399702

DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1215597

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