An evidence-based psychoeducational intervention was effective in reducing fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) and stress, while boosting melanoma-related knowledge among patients at high risk for another melanoma, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

Researchers led by Mbathio Deng, PhD, of The University of Sydney examined 80 patients who were randomly assigned to the intervention, which consisted of a newly developed psychoeducational resource and 3 telephone-based psychotherapeutic sessions over a 1-month period. The intervention was timed with dermatologic appointments.

Assessments were performed at baseline, 1 month, and 6 months after dermatologic appointments, using linear mixed models to look for differences between the 2 groups for patient-reported outcomes.

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The intervention group reported lower FCR severity, trigger and distress scores at 6 months than the usual care group in baseline-adjusted models, with a mean difference of -1.9 for FCR severity, -2.0 for FCR triggers, and -0.7 for FCR distress.

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Decrease in FCR severity, but not triggers or distress, remained statistically significant after adjusting for other covariates. The intervention group also reported lower stress and improved melanoma-related knowledge at 6 months than the usual care group. There were no differences found between the groups for other secondary outcomes.


  1. Dieng M, Butow PN, Costa DSJ, et al. Psychoeducational intervention to reduce fear of cancer recurrence in people at high risk of developing another primary melanoma: results of a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Oncol. 2016 Oct 10. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2016.68.2278 [Epub ahead of print]