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Fear of Recurrence Pilot Intervention for Women With Breast Cancer (WiLLoW)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of California, San Francisco Identifier:
First received: February 24, 2011
Last updated: January 23, 2014
Last verified: January 2014
The primary objective of this pilot study is to examine the feasibility and acceptability of a randomized, controlled study of a mindfulness and values-based living intervention targeted at reducing fear of recurrence in breast cancer survivors compared to treatment as usual control. Furthermore, the secondary objective of this randomized, controlled pilot study is to determine preliminary efficacy and effect size of the mindfulness and values-based living intervention compared to the treatment as usual control condition in reducing fear of recurrence in breast cancer survivors.

Condition Intervention Phase
Cancer Recurrence Behavioral: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Pilot Intervention to Address Fear of Recurrence in Breast Cancer Survivors

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of California, San Francisco:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Fear of cancer recurrence [ Time Frame: Weeks 0, 6, 10, 30 ]
    Multi-dimensional fear of recurrence measure.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Anxiety [ Time Frame: Weeks 0, 6, 10, 30 ]
    Validated measure of anxiety.

Enrollment: 28
Study Start Date: March 2011
Study Completion Date: December 2012
Primary Completion Date: December 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
No Intervention: Treatment-as-usual
Participants in the Treatment as usual (TAU) arm will not receive any specific Fear of Cancer Recurrence (FCR) intervention during the study period. However, they will be offered an optional full-day workshop at the end of the study.
Experimental: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Participants in the intervention arm will receive seven sessions of a mindfulness and values-based living intervention, led by a trained licensed facilitator, conducted in groups of 10-12 participants and include components specifically designed to reduce FCR. The intervention arm will include six weekly 90 minute group sessions and one followup 90 minute group session "booster session" held three weeks later. The group sessions will be interactive and experiential and include homework practice for generalizing skills.
Behavioral: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Seven weekly sessions of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) intervention
Other Name: ACT

Detailed Description:
Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is pervasive, distressing and undermines quality of life in cancer survivors. For subgroups of survivors, FCR is implicated in both treatment non-adherence and medical over-utilization. Although some degree of FCR is nearly universal among cancer patients, effective psychological interventions have been understudied. Educational and cognitive approaches that have relied on reassurance may feed into the anxiety by encouraging experiential avoidance, according to behavioral theories of anxiety. Mindfulness and values based living approaches teach techniques for reducing experiential avoidance allowing patients to break this cycle and focus on functional, satisfying lives. Interventions based on these techniques offer promise for addressing FCR in breast cancer survivors.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosed with early stage breast cancer within the past 18 months;
  • Completed active treatment within the past year
  • At least mild anxiety, and/or at least moderate fear of recurrence as measured by screening questionnaires.
  • Ability to give written informed consent and willingness to comply with the requirements of the protocol

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Presence of clinically significant cognitive impairment, or comorbid psychiatric or physical illness, only if, in the PI's or Co-Is' opinions, such illness would interfere with the ability to participate in and complete the intervention;
  • Inability to speak and comprehend English sufficiently to complete the intervention.
  • We will use a screening questionnaire (administered over the phone by the Research Associate) to determine that women do not have a comorbid physical or mental illness that is so impairing that they would be unable to participate in the groups or complete the measures.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01354041

United States, California
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California, United States, 94143
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, San Francisco
Principal Investigator: Laura B. Dunn, MD University of California, San Francisco
  More Information

Responsible Party: University of California, San Francisco Identifier: NCT01354041     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 10-01831
Study First Received: February 24, 2011
Last Updated: January 23, 2014

Keywords provided by University of California, San Francisco:
fear and health worries about cancer recurrence

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Disease Attributes
Pathologic Processes processed this record on August 23, 2017