Chemotherapy-induced cognitive changes

  • Oana Lindner

    Student thesis: Unknown


    The present thesis, entitled Chemotherapy-induced cognitive changes, is being submitted in the alternative format, by Oana Calina Lindner to The University of Manchester for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, School of Psychological Sciences. The thesis consists of five empirical studies, written in article formats and three connecting chapters. The General introduction in Chapter 1, places the thesis in the context of late effects research in cancer survivors. I describe the prevalence of physical and emotional late effects, before going into more details on cognitive late effects. Chapter 2 provides a meta-analytical summary of cognitive impairments following chemotherapy in adult patients. It has already been published in Neuropsychology in 2014. Chapter 3 describes the general objectives and hypotheses of the empirical studies, and Chapter 4 provides more details on the General methods utilized in all the studies. The studies focus on pre- and post-treatment young adult cancer patients who were compared to age-, sex-, and education-matched controls. The instruments include a comprehensive neuropsychological battery, a newly designed memory task, and a complex battery of self-assessment questionnaires. Chapter 5 is the first empirical study, which will be submitted to Journal of Clinical Oncology. It describes the pattern of neuropsychological status of young adult cancer patients following treatment for lymphoma, sarcoma, breast cancer, and germ cell tumour. The impairments were specific to executive functioning, verbal memory, and visuospatial abilities. Uniquely, the chapter depicts differences between cancer groups. Because chemotherapy may not be the primary factor triggering such effects, Chapter 6 details the neuropsychological profile of a group of young adult pre-treatment patients diagnosed with the same malignancies. This chapter will be submitted to Journal of Neuropsychology. Impairments were observed on tests of attention, executive functioning and visuospatial abilities. Both Chapters 5 and 6 emphasize the importance of matching on full scale IQ in cross-sectional studies and they provide evidence that patients' performance on tests of verbal memory and executive functioning may vary as a function of age. Chapter 7 will be submitted to Psycho-Oncology and it suggests the presence of acute memory deficits after the first treatment. Finally, Chapter 8, which will be submitted to Psychosomatic Medicine, provides an in-depth description of the psycho-emotional status of cancer survivors. It describes higher levels of anxiety, depression, fatigue, and cognitive complaints, which mediated the relationship between illness perceptions and quality of life. The complex interaction between these psycho-emotional factors is interpreted within the framework of cognitive-behavioural therapies, which may provide a method to decrease the emotional burden of survivorship in clinical practice. Finally, Chapter 9 summarizes all the empirical findings whilst connecting them to previous literature and specifying future research direction.
    Date of Award1 Aug 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester
    SupervisorAlison Wearden (Supervisor), Andrew Mayes (Supervisor), Martin Mccabe (Supervisor) & Deborah Talmi (Supervisor)


    • chemotherapy
    • cancer
    • cognition
    • psycho-oncology

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