Smartphone problem-solving therapy to reduce fear of cancer recurrence among breast cancer survivors: An open single-Arm pilot study

Fuminobu Imai, Kanae Momino, Fujika Katsuki, Masaru Horikoshi, Toshi A. Furukawa, Naoto Kondo, Tatsuya Toyama, Takuhiro Yamaguchi, Tatsuo Akechi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate a newly developed smartphone problemsolving therapy (PST) application's feasibility and preliminary effectiveness for reducing fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) among breast cancer survivors. Methods: Female disease-free breast cancer survivors aged 20-49 years who were more than 6 months post-breast surgery participated in the study. The patients received the smartphone PST using an iPhone or iPad for 8 weeks. The feasibility of the intervention program was evaluated using the overall participation rate, the percentage of survivors who expressed interest in the intervention, and the percentage of completion of the study. Patients were also asked to complete the Concern About Recurrence Scale (CARS) as a primary outcome at baseline, 4 weeks and 8 weeks. Results: A total of 38 patients participated in this study. The overall participation and completion rates in the study were 47.1% and 97.4%, respectively. The overall fear assessed by CARS was significantly reduced at 8 weeks compared with baseline. A pairwise comparison showed a significant decrease from 4 weeks to 8 weeks and from baseline to 8 weeks. Conclusions: Smartphone PST, a novel brief intervention to reduce FCR, was well accepted by breast cancer survivors and yielded a favorable effect on FCR. The efficacy of this newly developed smartphone PST needs to be confirmed in a future well-designed randomized controlled trial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-544
Number of pages8
JournalJapanese journal of clinical oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 29


  • Breast neoplasm
  • Computers
  • Fear
  • Problem-solving
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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