Fear of Cancer Recurrence (FCR) is a concern among cancer patients. Recent insights suggest that FCR should be viewed as a distinct syndrome. However, few studies have explored its overlap with psychiatric morbidity. We examined this overlap in a sample of distressed cancer patients. Self-referred patients (n = 245) were assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Axis-I disorders and the Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory-Short Form. Proportions of patients with and without a psychiatric disorder meeting validated cut-offs for screening and clinically relevant FCR were compared. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders was 36%. Clinically relevant FCR was found in 198 patients (81%). Patients with a current psychiatric disorder reported clinically relevant FCR more frequently (89%) compared to those with no disorder (77%). Of patients reporting clinically relevant FCR, the majority (61%) did not additionally meet the criteria for a psychiatric disorder. These findings suggest that there should be particular attention for patients with elevated levels of FCR, warranting FCR-specific treatment.
Trial registry number Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02138513