Cancer-related cognitive impairment in survivors of adolescent and young adult non-central nervous system cancer: A scoping review

Psychooncology. 2022 Jun 20. doi: 10.1002/pon.5980. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: Cancer-related cognitive impairments (CRCI) are common after treatment and can have important impacts on the lives of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors-those cancer survivors diagnosed between ages 15 and 39. However, most research focuses on survivors diagnosed under age 15 or over age 39 so we know relatively little about CRCI among AYA survivors of non-central nervous system (CNS) cancers. Here we review the research on CRCI among AYA survivors of non-CNS cancers to determine prevalence, associated factors, and impact on survivors’ lives as well as implications for future research.

METHODS: In November 2021 we performed a systematic search of the literature in MEDLINE, Web of Science, PsycInfo, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to identify peer-reviewed English language articles describing original research with at least one cognitive outcome and conducted with AYA survivors of non-CNS cancer diagnosed as AYAs. We screened 6003 articles and 21 met eligibility criteria. Guided by the PRISMA-ScR Checklist, we extracted study information to meet review objectives.

RESULTS: Most studies employed cross-sectional surveys or interviews, though some employed longitudinal methods, neurocognitive assessments, or brain imaging. From the subset of articles that reported a prevalence we calculated a weighted mean prevalence of 25.75% and weighted median prevalence of 27.8%. The factors associated with CRCI included female gender, higher dose chemotherapy, and comorbidities. CRCI impacted the lives of AYA survivors through impaired role functioning, financial toxicity, and unmet needs.

CONCLUSIONS: CRCI is highly prevalent among non-CNS cancer survivors diagnosed as AYAs and impacts quality of life and role functioning. This review suggests a need for further longitudinal, imaging, and mixed methods research and provision of resources to help achieve better quality of life and educational and occupational attainment during what is potentially a decades-long survivorship period. However, although interventions might improve cognition and functioning, the review identified only one pilot study. Digital interventions may be a practical and effective option for this age group, but they have yet to be adequately investigated. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID:35726379 | DOI:10.1002/pon.5980

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