Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is a common and distressing psychosocial concern for adult cancer survivors. Data on this construct in child survivors is limited and there are no validated measures for this population. This study aimed to adapt the Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory-Short Form (FCRI-SF) for survivors of childhood cancer aged 8-18 years (FCRI-C) and their parents (FCRI-P) to self-report on their own FCR and to examine the initial psychometric properties.
The FCRI-SF was adapted through expert panel input and cognitive interviews with child survivors <18 years. The factor structure, internal consistency and construct and criterion validity of the FCRI-C and FCRI-P were examined in 124 survivors of childhood cancer (43% female; Mage=14.58 years, SD=2.90) and 106 parents (90% mothers).
All FCRI-SF items were retained for the FCRI-C with simplified language. The internal consistencies of the FCRI-C (α= .88) and FCRI-P (α= .83) were good. Exploratory factor analyses yielded one-factor structures for both measures. Higher scores on the FCRI-C and FCRI-P were associated with greater intolerance of uncertainty and pain catastrophizing. Higher child FCR was also related to more hypervigilance to bodily symptoms. Parents with higher FCR reported contacting their child’s doctors and nurses and scheduling medical appointments for their child more frequently. Children reported significantly lower FCR compared to parents.
The FCRI-C and FCRI-P demonstrated strong reliability and preliminary validity. This study offers preliminary data to support the use of the FCRI-C and FCRI-P to measure FCR in survivors of childhood cancer aged 8-18 years and their parents.