Background: Stomach cancer is one the most common neoplasms with high mortality. However, fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) in stomach cancer survivors has been scarcely evaluated. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate FCR and factors related to FCR in Korean stomach cancer survivors. Methods: A total of 363 stomach cancer survivors who had completed primary treatment and had no metastasis or recurrence were recruited between September 2014 and March 2017 regardless of time lapse after the initial diagnosis. FCR was assessed using the Korean version of the FCR Inventory (FCRI). Participants were divided into two groups; clinical FCRI group (score of severity subscale of FCRI ≥ 13) and non-clinical FCRI group (the scores < 13). Socio-demographic factors, cancer stage, treatment, psychological factors, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and health promotion and disease prevention behaviors were obtained using a self–administered questionnaire supplemented with face-to-face interview to fill out incomplete information. Factors associated with FCR were evaluated using linear regression analysis and multiple logistic regression analysis after adjusting for age, sex, cancer stage, time since cancer diagnosis, family cancer diagnosis, and comorbidities. Results: Average (standard deviation) time interval between cancer diagnosis and study participation was 7.3 (3.2) years. The distribution of socio-demographic and cancer–related factors did not differ according to the level of FCR. The higher FCRI level was associated with lower levels of social support (β: -0.190, p < 0.001), lower emotional function (β: -0.356, p < 0.001), more severe fatigue (β: 0.333, p < 0.001), more sleep problems (β: 0.299, p = 0.002), higher anxiety (β: 0.443, p < 0.001), and higher depression (β: 0.207, p < 0.001). However, clinical level of FCR was not associated with health promotion and disease prevention behaviors. Conclusions: FCR in stomach cancer survivors was associated with social, psychological, and HRQoL factors rather than demographic, socioeconomic, or cancer–related factors. This finding suggests that careful attention to FCR is necessary to provide more comprehensive survivorship care for stomach cancer survivors.
- Stomach neoplasms