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Feasibility and acceptability of Fear-Less: a stepped-care program to manage fear of cancer recurrence in people with metastatic melanoma

journal contribution
posted on 2020-12-21, 06:03 authored by Fiona A Lynch, Lynda KatonaLynda Katona, Michael Jefford, Allan Ben Smith, Joanne Shaw, Haryana M Dhillon, Steve Ellen, Jo Phipps-Nelson, Julia Lai-Kwon, Donna Milne, Lahiru Russell, Victoria Dax, Justine Diggens, Holly Kent, Alison Button-Sloan, Jane Elliott, Mark Shackleton, Hayley Burridge, Maria Ftanou
Immunotherapies and targeted therapies have revolutionised treatment of metastatic melanoma and improved survival rates. However, survivors treated with novel therapies are vulnerable to high levels of fear of cancer recurrence or progression (FCR). Existing FCR interventions have rarely been trialled in people with advanced cancer. The current study aimed to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of Fear-Less: a stepped-care model to treat FCR in people with metastatic melanoma treated with immunotherapy or targeted therapy. Sixty-one outpatients with metastatic melanoma were screened using the Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory Short Form (FCRI-SF) and Fear of Progression Questionnaire Short Form (FoP-Q-SF). Survivors with subthreshold FCR were stratified to a self-management intervention while those with clinical levels of FCR were provided with an individual therapy, Conquer Fear. Survivor experience surveys and rescreening were administered post-intervention completion. Results indicated that Fear-Less was an acceptable and feasible FCR intervention. Results provided preliminary support for the potential impact of Fear-Less in reducing FCR. Fear-Less is a promising first step in providing an acceptable and feasible stepped-care model to treat FCR in survivors with metastatic disease.


The Fear-Less project was supported by the Victorian Government.


Publication Date



Journal of Clinical Medicine





Article Number



16p. (p. 1-16)





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