Singapore – Breast cancer patients who receive or undergo chemotherapy treatment sometimes show symptoms of “chemobrain,” in which they encounter memory loss, difficulty in decision making and speech problems. Self-reporting cognitive tools, such as FACT-Cog, are often used to evaluate perceived cognitive changes in cancer patients. Validation of the tool is essential to ensure that it yields accurate and precise quality data on self-reported cognitive lapses.
Researchers from the Department of Pharmacy, National University of Singapore, conducted a study to evaluate the degree to which FACT-Cog measured the intended cognitive lapses in 328 breast cancer patients who were treated at the largest ambulatory cancer center in Singapore. Through a rigorous statistical approach, the validation results showed that patients who reported more cognitive complaints were also more fatigued, anxious and had a poor health status. A higher degree of perceived cognitive disturbance was also observed among patients receiving chemotherapy (than those patients not receiving chemotherapy). The measurement equivalence between the English and Chinese versions was established, indicating that data from both versions can be pooled with caution for future studies. Overall, the researchers concluded that the validation results support the use of both English and Chinese versions of FACT-Cog as a reliable cognitive tool for future clinical research in Asian breast cancer patients.
“This is an impactful study,” say Miss Yin Ting Cheung and Associate Professor Alexandre Chan from National University of Singapore, principal investigators of this study. “An appropriate, accurate and precise cognitive tool is important for the study of cognitive changes in cancer patients. This is the one of the first validation studies conducted among English-and Chinese- speaking breast cancer patients. We strongly believe that our data will guide clinicians and researchers in their choice of cognitive tool for evaluating this phenomenon of “chemobrain” in cancer patients.”
The full study, “Psychometric Properties and Measurement Equivalence of the English and Chinese Versions of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Cognitive in Asian Patients With Breast Cancer” is published in Value in Health.
Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research as well as policy papers to help health care leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal is published bi-monthly and has over 8,000 subscribers (clinicians, decision makers, and researchers worldwide).
International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.
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