The Fast Cognitive Evaluation (FaCE): a screening tool to detect cognitive impairment in patients with cancer

BMC Cancer. 2023 Jan 9;23(1):35. doi: 10.1186/s12885-022-10470-1.


Cancer-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) is one of the most concerning conditions experienced by patients living with cancer and has a major impact on their quality of life. Available cognitive assessment tools are too time consuming for day-to-day clinical setting assessments. Importantly, although shorter, screening tools such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment or the Mini-Mental State Evaluation have demonstrated a ceiling effect in persons with cancer, and thus fail to detect subtle cognitive changes expected in patients with CRCI. This study addresses this lack of cognitive screening tools by developing a novel tool, the Fast Cognitive Evaluation (FaCE).A population of 245 patients with 11 types of cancer at different illness and treatment time-points was enrolled for the analysis. FaCE was developed using Rasch Measurement Theory, a model that establishes the conditions for a measurement tool to be considered a rating scale.FaCE shows excellent psychometric properties. The population size was large enough to test the set of items (item-reliability-index=0.96). Person-reliability (0.65) and person-separation (1.37) indexes indicate excellent internal consistency. FaCE’s scale is accurate (reliable) with high discriminant ability between cognitive levels. Within the average testing time of five minutes, FaCE assesses the main cognitive domains affected in CRCI.FaCE is a rapid, reliable, and sensitive tool for detecting even minimal cognitive changes over time. This can contribute to early and appropriate interventions for better quality of life in patients with CRCI. In addition, FaCE could be used as a measurement tool in research exploring cognitive disorders in cancer survivors.

PMID:36624397 | DOI:10.1186/s12885-022-10470-1

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