Web-Based Intervention May Help Cognitive Symptoms in CA Survivors

Cognitive rehab program on the web may improve self-reported cognitive function through six months
Cognitive rehab program on the web may improve self-reported cognitive function through six months

HealthDay News — A web-based cognitive rehabilitation program can improve cognitive symptoms in cancer survivors, according to a study published online October 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 three or more cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy in the previous six 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<0.001); this difference persisted six months later (P<0.001). 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 write. "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.

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