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01.06.2015 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2015

Supportive Care in Cancer 6/2015

Fear of progression in patients 6 months after cancer rehabilitationa validation study of the fear of progression questionnaire FoP-Q-12

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 6/2015
Andreas Hinz, Anja Mehnert, Jochen Ernst, Peter Herschbach, Thomas Schulte



Many cancer patients experience fear of progression (FoP). The purpose of this study was to test psychometric properties of the questionnaire FoP-Q-12, to examine age and gender differences of FoP, and to explore prognostic factors of FoP.


A sample of 2059 patients with a cancer diagnosis who had participated in a cancer rehabilitation program was examined 6 months after discharge from the rehabilitation clinic. Participants filled in the Fear of Progression questionnaire FoP-Q-12, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (anxiety subscale), and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire GAD-2 and answered a list of questions concerning their cancer disease.


Reliability of the FoP-Q-12 (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.90) was good. While exploratory factorial analysis supported the one-dimensional structure of the FoP-Q-12, confirmatory factorial analysis only partially supported the one-dimensional model. A proportion of 16.7 % of the sample scored above the FoP-Q-12 cutoff score. Females showed higher FoP scores than males (effect size d = 0.52), and older patients had slightly lower levels of FoP than younger patients (d = 0.17). There were substantial and significant correlations between FoP-Q-12 and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) anxiety (r = 0.71) as well as GAD-2 anxiety (r = 0.57). The highest FoP mean scores were found for the following cancer locations: ovary (M = 29.5), thyroid gland (M = 28.8), and breast (M = 27.9), while the lowest scores were found for Hodgkin lymphoma (M = 23.6), testis (M = 21.8), and prostate (M = 21.7).


The FoP-Q-12 proved to be a valid instrument for measuring fear of progression in cancer patients.

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