Prof Louise Sharpe
Treating Fear of Cancer Recurrence and Fear of Progression in other chronic illness
28th September 2022 09.30 -12.30 (UK)
5th October 2022 09.30 - 12.30 (UK)
Professor Louise Sharp, University of Sydney, Australia
Fear of cancer recurrence
Professor Louise Sharpe
Treatment for fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is the leading unmet need of cancer survivors. In the past decade, there have been clear strategic attempts to better understand the mechanisms that lead some survivors to experience clinically significant FCR and to develop efficacious treatments for managing this understandable fear. Conquer Fear was a treatment developed to manage FCR in early stage cancer survivors who had been treated with curative intent and demonstrated high levels of FCR. Conquer fear draws from acceptance commitment therapy, meta-cognitive therapy and behavioural strategies. Conquer Fear was shown in a large randomized controlled trial to be superior to relaxation training in reducing FCR. Increasingly, it is clear that cancer is not the only illness where people fear a recurrence or progression of their illness and our recent work has suggested that fear of progression is surprisingly similar across other illnesses and strongly associated with depression, anxiety and poor quality of life.
This workshop will describe a model of fear of cancer recurrence, and examine the evidence that fear of progression is a transdiagnostic construct amongst those with chronic physical illness. From that theoretical position, the Conquer Fear program will be described. This workshop will outline ways to help patients to be able to think about their future with uncertainty and live a life that has meaning and value to them. Strategies from metacognitive therapy, that examine whether worry is helpful, harmful or controllable specifically in the context of FCR will be explored. Response prevention for checking behaviours and bodily monitoring will be described and demonstrated. Lessons from the FCR literature for working with other illnesses in which fear of progression is an often neglected concern will be described. The Conquer Fear manual will be made available to participants of the workshop.
About Professor Louise Sharpe
Professor Louise Sharpe is a clinical psychologist by training who worked in clinical roles in the National Health Service in the UK before completing her PhD at The University of London in health psychology. She is currently a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director, Graduate Research in the Deputy Vice Chancellor Education’s portfolio at the University of Sydney. She researches the interface between clinical and health psychology, focused on the development of clinically significant psychological problems in people with a range of chronic health conditions, including pain, cancer and multi-morbidity. She has published more than 275 peer-reviewed publications. She has received awards from the Australian Psychological Society and The Australian Association for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (AACBT) for her contribution to clinical psychology and cognitive behavior therapy. She is a Fellow of both the AACBT and the Association for Social Science in Australia.