Rehabilitation May Improve Cognitive Symptoms in Cancer Survivors

Research found that cognitive rehabilitation program could improve self-reported cognitive function through 6 months.
Research found that cognitive rehabilitation program could improve self-reported cognitive function through 6 months.

HealthDay News — A web-based cognitive rehabilitation program can improve cognitive symptoms in cancer survivors, according to a study published online Oct. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Victoria J. Bray, from Liverpool Hospital in Sydney, and colleagues recruited 242 adult cancer survivors with a primary malignancy who had completed 3 or more cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy in the previous 6 to 60 months and reported persistent cognitive symptoms. Participants received a 30-minute telephone consultation and were then randomized to either a 15-week, home-based intervention or to standard care.

The researchers found that the primary outcome of difference in self-reported cognitive function (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Cognitive Function [FACT-COG]) perceived cognitive impairment [PCI] subscale) was significant, with less PCI in the intervention group after the intervention (P < .001); this difference persisted 6 months later (P < .001). There was a significant difference in all FACT-COG subscales after the intervention, favoring the intervention. There were no significant differences between the groups in neuropsychological results. After the intervention there were significantly lower levels of anxiety/depression and fatigue noted in the intervention group.

"The intervention, insight, led to improvements in cognitive symptoms compared with standard care," the authors wrote. "To our knowledge, this is the first large randomized controlled trial showing an improvement in self-reported cognitive function in cancer survivors, indicating that this intervention is a feasible treatment."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Reference

Bray VJ, Dhillon HM, Bell ML, et al. Evaluation of a web-based cognitive rehabilitation program in cancer survivors reporting cognitive symptoms after chemotherapy. J Clin Oncol. 2016; doi:10.1200/JCO.2016.67.8201.

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