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Prof. Joachim Weis 

Universitätsklinikum Freiburg

Klinik für Tumorbiologie

Breisacher Str. 117

79106 Freiburg

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Patient competence and disease-related concerns (fear of progression) of cancer patients in the course of oncological rehabilitation.
A contribution to construct validation.

Prof. Dr. Joachim Weis, Dr. Jürgen M. Giesler, Dipl.-Psych. Tina Zeiss, Tumor Biology Center Freiburg, Psychosocial Department and Institute of Rehab-Research and Prevention 


The project examines patient competence in patients undergoing oncological rehabilitation. It focuses upon possible changes of patient competencies and their association with selected features of subjective well-being (fear of progression, depression, quality of life) and coping with illness while controlling for tumour entity and type of treatment (curative vs. palliative). Moreover, potential effects of gender and social class will be explored. The project aims at a comprehensive validation of a questionnaire measure of patient competence developed earlier by the investigators in the context of oncology. To this end, a total of 512 patients suffering from breast, colorectal or prostate cancer will be surveyed at the beginning and at the end of oncological rehabilitation, and again 9 months later by employing a non-randomized comparison group design. Among other things, we expect that a) the original scale structure of the questionnaire will be replicable, b) individual patient competencies will increase during the course of rehabilitation, and c) fear of progression will decrease. The study results will be evaluated with respect to conceptualizing, measuring, and developing patient competencies. Also, results will be discussed at a workshop with patient representatives, medical experts, and psychologists in order to further clarify and promote the idea of patient competence.

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