The relationship between fears of cancer recurrence and patient age : a systematic review and meta-analysis
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Background Fears of cancer recurrence (FCR) is one of the most prevalent concerns and a common unmet need reported by cancer patients. Patient age is a demographic variable that has been linked to FCR, among others. Although it is recognised by researchers that age and FCR may be negatively correlated, the strength of this correlation has yet to be established. Aim The aims of this study were to (a) conduct a meta‐analysis to investigate the overall association of patient age in years with FCR across studies from 2009 to February 2019 and (b) scrutinise for patterns of these effect sizes across studies. Methods and Results Peer‐reviewed papers were gathered from the literature via online databases (PubMed, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO). Systematic review guidelines including a quality assessment were applied to the 31 selected studies (pooled participant N size = 19 777). The meta‐analysis demonstrated a significant negative association between age and FCR (ES = −0.12; 95% CI, −0.17, −0.07). Meta‐regression revealed the association of patient age and FCR significantly reduced over the last decade. A significant effect (β = −0.17, P = 0.005) of breast cancer versus other cancers on this age by FCR association was also identified. Conclusion The reliable and readily accessible personal information of age of patient can be utilised as a weak indicator of FCR level especially in the breast cancer field, where the majority of studies were drawn. The suggestion that age and FCR association may be attenuated in recent years requires confirmation.
Lim , E & Humphris , G M 2020 , ' The relationship between fears of cancer recurrence and patient age : a systematic review and meta-analysis ' , Cancer Reports , vol. 3 , no. 3 , e1235 . https://doi.org/10.1002/cnr2.1235
Copyright © 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1002/cnr2.1235