Feasibility and acceptability of a remotely administered computerized intervention to address cognitive late effects among childhood cancer survivors

Lauren E. Cox, Jason M. Ashford, Kellie N. Clark, Karen Martin-Elbahesh, Kristina K. Hardy, Thomas E. Merchant, Robert J. Ogg, Sima Jeha, Victoria W. Willard, Lu Huang, Hui Zhang, Heather M. Conklin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Childhood cancer survivors frequently develop working memory (WM) deficits as a result of disease and treatment. Medication- based and therapist-delivered interventions are promising but have limitations. Computerized interventions completed at home may be more appealing for survivors. We evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of a remotely administered, computerized WM intervention (Cogmed) for pediatric cancer survivors using a single-blind, randomized, wait-list control design. Methods. Of 80 qualifying patients, 12 were excluded or declined to participate. Participants randomized to intervention (n = 34/68) included survivors of childhood brain tumors (32%) or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL; 68%) between the ages of 8 and 16 years (x = 12.2) who were at least 1 year post therapy (x = 5.0). The majority of brain tumor participants were treated with cranial radiation therapy (72.7%), whereas most of the ALL participants were treated with chemotherapy only (87%). Participants completed 25 WM training sessions over 5-9 weeks at home with weekly phone-based coaching. Results. Participants lived in 16 states. Compliancewas strong, with 30 of the 34 participants (88%) completing intervention. Almost all participants completed pre- and postintervention neuroimaging exams (91% and 93%, respectively). Families had the necessary skills to utilize the computer program successfully. Caregivers reported they were generally able to find time to complete training (63%), viewed training as beneficial (70%), and would recommend this intervention to others (93%). Conclusions. Cogmed is a feasible and acceptable intervention for childhood cancer survivors. It is a viable option for survivors who do not live in close proximity to cancer care centers. Efficacy and neural correlates of change are currently being evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-87
Number of pages10
JournalNeuro-Oncology Practice
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Keywords

  • Childhood cancer
  • Cogmed
  • Computerized training
  • Intervention
  • Late effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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