According to findings published in Supportive Care in Cancer, survivors of breast cancer who report experiencing cancer-related cognitive dysfunction (CRCD) experience durable improvements to their memory even after just a single 1-hour psychoeducational intervention.

Studies have shown that nearly one-third of patients with breast cancer who undergo associated treatments (eg, chemotherapy) experience objective neurocognitive deficits in memory, processing, executive functioning, and attention. Despite the prevalence of CRCD, there remains a need for more effective rehabilitative interventions.

For this prospective study, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of a 1-hour, face-to-face individual psychoeducational intervention conducted with 100 breast cancer survivors at the study center. The intervention is designed to provide knowledge, confidence, and promote self-management of CRCD. Patients were given questionnaires to assess cognitive function immediately before (T1), immediately after (T2), and 6 weeks after (T3) the intervention.

Results showed that patients had improvements in memory contentment — a measurement of a person’s satisfaction with their memory ability based on normative comparisons — at T2 and T3.

Related Articles

Patients who underwent the intervention also showed improvement in knowledge of CRCD, self-management of cognitive symptoms, and symptom distress.

The study shows that breast cancer survivors with CRCD can improve cognitive symptoms and memory functioning after even 1 brief intervention. The authors concluded that “further investigation using a randomized controlled study design is warranted.” 

Reference

Bernstein LJ, McCreath GA, Nyhof-Young J, Dissanayake D, Rich JB. A brief psychoeducation intervention improves memory contentment in breast cancer survivors with cognitive concerns: results of a single-arm prospective study [published online March 10, 2018]. Support Care Cancer. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4135-z