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Title: Fear of cancer recurrence, anxiety and depression in partners of cancer survivors
Author: O'Rourke, Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 7532
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2020
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Cancer survivorship is increasing worldwide as a result of improvements in treatment and earlier diagnosis and prevention. Yet not only do cancer survivors continue to experience adverse physical and psychological effects from the illness, those who are close to them, particularly their caregivers and partners, also report significant psychological difficulties. These include increased levels of anxiety, depression and worries that the cancer may return. Examining the psychological mechanisms underpinning anxiety, depression and fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) in partners of cancer survivors is critical to the development of psychological interventions for this population. The first chapter in this thesis is a systematic review that aimed to narratively synthesise cross-sectional and longitudinal studies that have measured demographic, clinical and psychosocial correlates and predictors of FCR. This was selected as although two reviews have examined FCR in caregivers (2, 5), there has been no systematic synthesis of studies assessing correlates and predictors of caregivers' FCR. The second chapter in this thesis is an empirical paper that investigated, for the first time, the utility of a transdiagnostic psychological model of emotional distress, the SelfRegulatory Executive Function (S-REF) model (6), for understanding emotional distress experienced by adult partners of adult cancer survivors. The aim of this study was to test whether metacognitive beliefs (beliefs about thoughts) were associated with FCR, anxiety and depression in partners of cancer survivors, whilst controlling for demographic and clinical variables. Both the review and empirical paper were prepared for submission to PsychoOncology and have been formatted in line with the author guidelines (Appendix A). This journal was chosen as it focuses on the psychological aspects related to cancer and is concerned with the psychological responses of families and caregivers to cancer. The findings from the review and empirical paper have potential clinical implications for future development of psychological interventions for caregivers of cancer survivors.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral