Self-reported cognitive problems in women receiving adjuvant therapy for breast cancer

Shilling, Val and Jenkins, V.A. (2007) Self-reported cognitive problems in women receiving adjuvant therapy for breast cancer. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 11 (1). pp. 6-15. ISSN 1462-3889

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Self-reported cognitive problems are common among women receiving adjuvant therapy for breast cancer but are unrelated to actual cognitive impairment. To date, no studies have objectively measured impairment and asked patients to speak about the type and extent of problems they encounter. We report interview data from 142 breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant therapy. We aimed to identify the types of problems and the extent to which they interfered with everyday life. We investigated the relationship between self-reported and objective cognitive impairment, quality of life and psychological distress. The majority of participants reported problems with their memory (71% overall at 6 months, 60% at 18 months) and concentration (64% and 42%, respectively). This was unrelated to objective cognitive decline; rather, it was associated with psychological distress and quality of life. For the vast majority, the problems reported were everyday slips and lapses. The neuropsychological measures routinely used may lack the sensitivity to detect these subtle changes experienced by this group. In addition, the effects of mood on cognition may be more important in everyday life than in the highly structured neuropsychological test situation. Future research should focus on developing cognitive assessments that tap everyday functioning.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Published by Elsevier
Keywords: Activities of Daily Living Adaptation, Psychological Affect Antineoplastic Agents/adverse effects Attention *Attitude to Health Breast Neoplasms/complications/psychology/*therapy Chemotherapy, Adjuvant/adverse effects Cognition Disorders/diagnosis/*etiology/*psychology Female Great Britain Humans Memory Middle Aged Neuropsychological Tests Nursing Methodology Research Odds Ratio Quality of Life/psychology Questionnaires Radiotherapy, Adjuvant/adverse effects Stress, Psychological/prevention & control/psychology Women/*psychology
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Sussex Health Outcomes Research & Education in Cancer (SHORE-C)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0311 Consciousness. Cognition
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology Including cancer and carcinogens
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics > RG0491 Diseases of the breast
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology > RM0260 Chemotherapy
Depositing User: Tracy Woodcock
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2011 10:08
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2016 13:44
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