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Development of CBT for chemotherapy-related cognitive change: results of a waitlist control trial

Authors

  • Robert J. Ferguson,

    Corresponding author
    1. Clinical Research Center and Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor, ME, USA
    • Maine Rehabilitation Outpatient Center, Behavioral Medicine, Eastern Maine Medical Center 905 Union Street, Bangor, ME 04401, USA
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  • Brenna C. McDonald,

    1. Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA
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  • Michael A. Rocque,

    1. Clinical Research Center and Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor, ME, USA
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  • Charlotte T. Furstenberg,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Behavioral Medicine and Neuropsychology Sections, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH, USA
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  • Susan Horrigan,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Behavioral Medicine and Neuropsychology Sections, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH, USA
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  • Tim A. Ahles,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA
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  • Andrew J. Saykin

    1. Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA
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Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a brief cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that is being developed for management of cognitive dysfunction following chemotherapy among breast cancer survivors. Memory and Attention Adaptation Training (MAAT) is a brief CBT designed to improve the quality of life and function among cancer survivors with post-chemotherapy cognitive complaints.

Methods: An initial, two-group (MAAT versus waitlist, no treatment control), randomized clinical trial (RCT) was conducted. Forty stage I and II female breast cancer survivors (mean age = 50; SD = 6.4) were randomized to conditions and assessed at baseline, post-treatment (8 weeks) and 2-month follow-up assessment points on measures of: (1) self-reported daily cognitive failures; (2) quality of life; and (3) neuropsychological performance. Participants were also assessed for satisfaction with MAAT.

Results: With education and IQ as covariates, MAAT participants made significant improvements relative to controls on the spiritual well-being subscale of the quality of life measure and on verbal memory, but statistical significance was not achieved on self-report of daily cognitive complaints. However, moderate-to-large effect sizes were observed on these outcomes. Participants gave MAAT high satisfaction ratings.

Conclusions: Although this initial RCT is a small study, MAAT participants appear to improve on one measure of quality of life and verbal memory performance relative to no treatment controls and rate MAAT with high satisfaction. These data are encouraging and support the continued development and evaluation of MAAT efficacy.Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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