A Web-based cognitive rehabilitation program called Insight appeared to improve cognitive symptoms compared with standard care in cancer survivors who reported cognitive symptoms after chemotherapy, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has shown.1
Although cognitive impairment is often reported by cancer survivors, there are no established treatments for these effects. Therefore, researchers sought to evaluate the ability of Insight in improving self-reported cognitive symptoms in this population.
For the study, investigators enrolled 242 adult cancer survivors with a primary malignancy, excluding central nervous system tumors, who had completed 3 or more cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy in the previous 6 to 60 months and reported persistent cognitive impairment.
All participants received a 30-minute telephone consultation and were then randomly assigned to standard care or the 15-week, home-based Insight cognitive rehabilitation program. Self-reported cognitive function was measured using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Cognitive Function (FACT-COG) perceived cognitive impairment (PCI) subscale after the intervention and 6 months later.
Results showed that there was a significant difference in FACT-COG PCI scores between the 2 groups, with less PCI in the intervention arm after the intervention (P <.001) and 6 months afterwards (P <.001).
Researchers also found that there was a significant difference in all FACT-COG subscales, with scores favoring the rehabilitation program. Investigators observed significantly lower levels of anxiety/depression and fatigue in the intervention arm.
However, there was no significant difference in neuropsychological results between the 2 groups at either time point, nor in quality of life at first evaluation after the intervention. The intervention group had better quality of life 6 months after the intervention.
The findings ultimately suggest that Insight is a feasible treatment strategy for cancer survivors reporting cognitive symptoms following chemotherapy.
1. 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 Oct 28. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2016.67.8201. [Epub ahead of print]