Chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment in women with breast cancer: a critique of the literature.

Department of Physiological Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Oncology Nursing Forum (Impact Factor: 1.91). 04/2005; 32(2):329-42. DOI: 10.1188/05.ONF.329-342
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To review and critique the studies that have investigated chemotherapy-induced impairments in cognitive function in women with breast cancer.
Published research articles and textbooks.
Although studies of breast cancer survivors have found chemotherapy-induced impairments in multiple domains of cognitive function, they are beset with conceptual and methodologic problems. Findings regarding cognitive deficits in women with breast cancer who currently are receiving chemotherapy are even less clear.
Although data from published studies suggest that chemotherapy-induced impairments in cognitive function do occur in some women with breast cancer, differences in time since treatment, chemotherapy regimen, menopausal status, and neuropsychological tests used limit comparisons among the various studies. Further studies need to be done before definitive conclusions can be made.
The potential for chemotherapy-induced impairments in cognitive function may influence patients' ability to give informed consent, identify treatment toxicities, learn self-care measures, and perform self-care behaviors.

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