HealthDay News — According to a study published in Cancer, the Attention and Interpretation Modification for Fear of Breast Cancer Recurrence (AIM-FBCR) intervention shows promise for reducing fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) for breast cancer survivors.

Wendy Lichtenthal, PhD, from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues randomized 110 breast cancer survivors to receive 8 sessions of 1 of 2 versions of AIM-FBCR or a control condition. 

Before, after and 3 months after the intervention, computer-based assessments of cognitive biases and a self-report measure of FCR were administered. The researchers found that survivors who received AIM-FBCR had significant improvement in health worries and interpretation biases (rates of threat endorsement and reaction times for threat rejection) compared with the control arm.

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The trial appeared feasible and acceptable, although only 26% of those who screened into the study agreed to participate; 83% of those who initiated the intervention completed at least 5 of 8 sessions, and satisfaction with the computer-based program was reported by 90%.

“The results of the current pilot study suggest the promise of AIM-FBCR in reducing FCR in survivors of breast cancer,” the authors write. “Future research should attempt to replicate these findings in a larger-scale trial using a more sophisticated, user-friendly program and additional measures of improvement in more diverse samples.”


Lichtenthal WG, et al. “A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial Of Cognitive Bias Modification To Reduce Fear Of Breast Cancer Recurrence”. Cancer. 2017. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30478. [EPub ahead of print]

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