Characteristics associated with inter-individual differences in the trajectories of self-reported attentional function in oncology outpatients receiving chemotherapy

Juliet Shih, Heather Leutwyler, Christine Ritchie, Steven M. Paul, Jon D. Levine, Bruce Cooper, Fay Wright, Yvette P. Conley, Christine Miaskowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Between 14 and 85 % of patients report noticeable changes in cognitive function during chemotherapy (CTX). The purposes of this study were to determine which demographic, clinical, and symptom characteristics were associated with inter-individual variability in initial levels of attentional function as well as with changes in the trajectories of attentional function in a sample of oncology patients who received two cycles of CTX. Methods: Oncology outpatients (n = 1329) were recruited from two comprehensive cancer centers, one veteran’s affairs hospital, and four community-based oncology programs. The Attentional Function Index (AFI) was used to assess perceived effectiveness in completing daily tasks that required working memory and attention. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to evaluate for inter-individual variability in initial levels and in the trajectories of attentional function. Results: Demographic, clinical, and symptom characteristics associated with inter-individual differences of attentional function at enrollment (i.e., intercept) were as follows: employment status, functional status, trait anxiety, depressive symptoms, sleep disturbance, evening fatigue, and morning energy. Gender was the only characteristic associated with inter-individual differences in the trajectories of attentional function. Morning fatigue was the only characteristic associated with both initial levels and the trajectories of attentional function. Conclusions: Prior to their next dose of CTX, patients reported moderate levels of attentional function that persisted over two cycles of CTX. Many of the clinical and symptom characteristics associated with decrements in attentional function are amenable to interventions. Clinicians need to assess patients for changes in attentional function and associated characteristics and recommend evidence-based interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-793
Number of pages11
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Keywords

  • Attentional function
  • Chemotherapy
  • Cognitive function
  • Executive function
  • Hierarchical linear modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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