Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 91–97

Perceived Risk, Trust and Health-related Quality of Life Among Cancer Survivors

  • Erika A. Waters
  • Neeraj K. Arora
  • William M. P. Klein
  • Paul K. J. Han
Rapid Communication



To design effective interventions that improve cancer survivors’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL), it is necessary to understand how HRQoL is related to cancer cognitions and interpersonal/social factors.


This study investigated whether perceived risk of recurrence is associated with HRQoL and whether trust in the follow–up care physician moderates the perceived risk/HRQoL relationship.


A cross-sectional survey of cancer survivors (N = 408).


Higher perceived risk was associated with worse mental and physical HRQoL. Higher trust was associated with better mental (but not physical) HRQoL. The inverse association between perceived risk and mental HRQoL was eliminated among those with high trust in their physicians. Trust did not moderate the perceived risk/physical HRQoL relationship.


Addressing survivors’ perceived risk of recurrence and improving the provider-patient relationship may enhance interventions to improve mental HRQoL among cancer survivors. However, the causal relationships among the constructs should be explicated.


Perceived risk Trust Health-related quality of life Cancer survivors Fear of recurrence 


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erika A. Waters
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Neeraj K. Arora
    • 1
  • William M. P. Klein
    • 1
    • 3
  • Paul K. J. Han
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Cancer Control and Population SciencesNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program, Office of Preventive OncologyNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Department of Surgery (Prevention and Control)Washington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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