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Title: Cognitive changes in multiethnic Asian breast cancer patients: A focus group study
Authors: Cheung, Y.T.
Shwe, M.
Tan, Y.P.
Fan, G.
Ng, R.
Chan, A. 
Keywords: Chemobrain
Cognitive function
Focus group
Issue Date: Oct-2012
Citation: Cheung, Y.T., Shwe, M., Tan, Y.P., Fan, G., Ng, R., Chan, A. (2012-10). Cognitive changes in multiethnic Asian breast cancer patients: A focus group study. Annals of Oncology 23 (10) : 2547-2552. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: This study aims to gather descriptions from multiethnic Asian breast cancer patients on their experiences and impact of chemotherapy-associated cognitive changes on their daily lives and their coping strategies. Patients and methods: Forty-three chemotherapy-receiving breast cancer patients participated in eight English or Chinese structured focus group discussions, conducted by trained psychosocial oncologists and medical social workers. Results: Participants were unfamiliar and averse to both English and Chinese-translated equivalent of the term 'chemobrain'. Participants viewed this phenomenon holistically as a by-product of the physical (fatigue and aging) and psychosocial (anxiety and mood changes) adverse effects associated with chemotherapy. Most participants encountered memory loss, difficulty in decision making and speech problems after receiving chemotherapy. Married participants expressed frustration as cognitive deterioration limited their conservative roles as homemakers. Despite knowing the potential neurocognitive effects, participants valued the benefits of chemotherapy. Identified coping strategies included playing mahjong for mind stimulation and management of psychosocial factors, such as practicing qi gong, to regulate their moods and to take complementary alternative medicines to reduce the severity of their fatigue. Conclusions: The phenomenon 'chemobrain' is unfamiliar to most Asian cancer patients yet it has significantly impacted their daily lives. Our results suggested that a culturally relevant approach should be adopted to evaluate and manage cognitive changes in these patients. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Annals of Oncology
ISSN: 09237534
DOI: 10.1093/annonc/mds029
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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