Research Article - Journal of Neurology and Neurorehabilitation Research (2018) Volume 3, Issue 1
Evaluation of a group psychoeducational intervention for cancer-related cognitive dysfunction in community-dwelling breast cancer survivors.
Background: Cancer-related cognitive dysfunction (CRCD) refers to cognitive difficulties experienced by patients following cancer or its treatment. This study reports on a newly developed psychoeducational intervention intended to help breast cancer survivors manage CRCD symptoms. Objective: We conducted a pilot study to examine preliminary efficacy of this intervention and consider implementation challenges. Methods: Breast cancer survivors reporting cognitive difficulties were assessed before, immediately after, and one-month following the intervention. Primary outcome measures were participant-reported cognitive function and quality of life. Secondary outcome measures included knowledge of CRCD, memory systems and strategies, and healthy lifestyle activities. Follow-up interviews were conducted. Results: Five of the seven women who enrolled completed the intervention and three women returned for the one-month post-intervention testing. Immediately post-intervention, participants showed increased confidence in memory abilities, improved functional abilities, and increased CRCD knowledge. Qualitative analyses revealed four themes underscoring participant’s experience with this intervention: intentional behavioral changes, normalization and validation, changed relationship to self and others, and perceived lack of support from the medical community. Conclusion: This pilot study suggests this intervention benefits survivors in multiple ways. A randomized controlled design with a larger sample size is needed to replicate and understand the reliability of changes over time.Author(s): Shaikh KT, Mamedova K, Rich JB, Bernstein LJ