On-Screen Intervention May Help Lift Mental Fog

February 28, 2020
Katie Kosko

Heal, Winter 2020, Volume 8, Issue 1

To help manage chemo fog, interventions utilizing computer screens and tablets proved promising in a new study.

Cancer-related cognitive impairment, also known as chemo brain or chemo fog, affects up to 78% of cancer survivors. However, interventions using computers and tablets may improve mental function, according to study findings published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship.

Researchers reviewed seven studies collected from four databases. Each study measured objective and subjective cognitive function and psychological aspects in cancer survivors.

Six programs were accessible online, allowing patients to practice at home. Sessions lasted 20-60 minutes each and ran from three to 15 weeks, depending on the program. Health care professionals contacted participants by phone or email to gather feedback and addressed concerns if patients had them.

The participants also received additional resources, such as discussion opportunities and homework, through online or offline sessions.

The computerized cognitive intervention helped improve executive function, memory, working memory and processing speed, according to the authors. “Results of this study will help provide optimal ways to develop and apply effective computerized-cognitive-intervention programs for cancer survivors,” they concluded.

However, they noted that their study included mostly women, and further research including more men should be conducted.

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