Ferguson, R.J., McDonald, B.C., Rocque, M.A., Furstenberg, C.T., Horrigan, S., Ahles, T.A., & Saykin, A.J. (2012). Development of CBT for chemotherapy-related cognitive change: Results of a waitlist control trial. Psycho-Oncology, 21, 176–186.10.1002/pon.1878
To evaluate the efficacy of a brief cognitive behavioral therapy to manage chemotherapy-related cognitive dysfunction
Randomized clinical trial
Participants who received the intervention experienced a significant improvement in verbal memory, as measured by the CVLT-II total score (p < 0.05). In contrast, no difference was found in either information processing speed (DKEFS scales and WAIS-III subscale) or patients’ self-report (MASQ) of their cognitive functioning.
Although the cognitive behavioral therapy intervention was formulated to assist patients in dealing with memory and attention problems, significant improvement in total score was found only in verbal memory. Because improvement was not found in information processing speed, alternative strategies may need to be developed to help patients compensate in other cognitive domains. Although patients reported high satisfaction with the intervention, self-report scores did not indicate any improvement in their cognitive functioning.
Ongoing cognitive problems have been reported by many patients after completion of cancer treatment. Cognitive behavioral training has been suggested as a strategy to assist patients in dealing with the impact of these problems. However, further studies are needed to determine strategies for specific cognitive domains that are feasible in the outpatient setting.