Oral Presentation COSA-IPOS Joint Scientific Meeting 2012

Responding to cognitive concerns (ReCog): group cognitive rehabilitation for cancer survivors has the potential to enhance cognitive function and quality of life  (#116)

Heather J Green 1 , A Schuurs 1 2 3
  1. School of Applied Psychology & Behavioural Basis of Health Research Program, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia
  2. Gold Coast Health Service District, Qld Health, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia
  3. Reset Psychology, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia

This research aimed to address the gap in evidence-based treatment available for cancer survivors who are experiencing cognitive dysfunction. As an initial feasibility study for a new intervention, based on cognitive behavioural and cognitive rehabilitation principles, relatively broad inclusion criteria were used. Three groups of adults were recruited: an intervention group of 23 cancer survivors who completed a 4-week group cognitive rehabilitation treatment, a comparison group of 9 cancer survivors, and a matched community sample of 23 adults who had never experienced cancer. The manualised “ReCog” intervention was developed by the authors for this study and was delivered by a clinical health psychologist and a provisionally registered psychologist, in small groups of 4-8 participants. The two comparison groups completed assessments but did not receive the intervention. We expected that the intervention would have its greatest impact on subjective cognitive function, which often shows a mismatch with objective cognitive function. However, interestingly, the intervention showed relatively large effect sizes in objective cognitive improvement, even after correction for practice effects demonstrated by the comparison groups. Potential mechanisms for these findings will be discussed. A replication using a more rigorous randomised trial is currently underway.