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Oncol Nurs Forum. 2007 Sep;34(5):981-94.

Chemotherapy-related change in cognitive function: a conceptual model.

Author information

1
The College of Medicine, the Arizona Cancer Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson.

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To develop a conceptual model of chemotherapy-related changes in cognitive function.

DATA SOURCES:

MEDLINE, CINAHL, HealthStar, and PsycINFO databases.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

Patients undergoing chemotherapy often complain of forgetfulness, absentmindedness, and an inability to focus when performing a variety of daily tasks. Changes in cognitive function have been referred to by the colloquial term "chemo-brain." The authors conducted an examination of the literature to investigate relationships among concepts and to synthesize current knowledge.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cognitive function, defined as higher-order mental processes, may be altered along two distinct and interacting pathways: (a) the cancer diagnosis, which can lead to anxiety, stress, distress, and depression; and (b) the direct physiologic effects of cancer treatment. The Chemotherapy-Related Change in Cognitive Function conceptual model is informed by a review of literature that illustrates antecedents, moderators, mediators, and consequences that may be relevant to this issue.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING:

When a patient presents with cognitive complaints, the problems can be evaluated for intervention when an overall understanding exists of chemotherapy-related cognitive changes based on a conceptual model that continues to be informed through well-conceptualized and well-designed research.

PMID:
17878127
DOI:
10.1188/07.ONF.981-994
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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