Category: Cancer Rehabilitation; Neuroplasticity (includes neuroscience)
To investigate outcomes of a computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation program with visual exercises to one with audio+ visual exercises.
Design : An experimental design was employed with participants randomly assigned to either group based upon their order of pretest arrival.
Pre and post-tests occurred at three sites and intervention was delivered in the home.
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) :
Breast cancer survivors who self-identified as having cognitive problems were recruited from five breast cancer support groups. Survivors were excluded if unable to read or understand spoken English, had major mental or central nervous system disorders, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, developmental delay, traumatic brain injury or cerebral accident. There were 24 participants (visual group = 13; audio+visual group= 11).
Ten computer exercises were performed 3 minutes each for 30 minutes a day for 5/7 days a week.
Main Outcome Measure(s) :
Pre and post measures included digit span (working memory), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Cognitive Function (perceived cognition), 41 item Quality of Life Instrument (quality of life), and Engagement in Meaningful Activities Survey (engagement in meaningful activities).
Effects were not significant for working memory and no significant difference for engagement in meaningful activities in the posttest between the two groups. Visual group participants reported significantly higher score in the quality of life posttest test (M = 6.42, SD = 1.27) than that in the pretest (M = 5.60, SD = 1.76), p = .004). Visual group participants also reported significantly better perceived cognitive function in the posttest test (M = 91.62, SD = 21.75) than in the pretest (M = 74.48, SD = 29.00), p = .010.
Computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation with primarily visual exercises appears to improve quality of life and perceived cognitive function for breast cancer survivors.