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Biobehavioral Contributors to Cognition in Breast Cancer Survivors

Researcher
Ashley Henneghan, RN, BSN, MSN, University of Texas at Austin
Study abstract

The purpose of this cross-sectional study is to identify modifiable psychosocial (stress, social isolation) and behavioral (physical activity, sleep quality) factors that may contribute to cognitive function (memory, attention, processing speed, executive function performance) both directly and indirectly, by examining biological (inflammatory markers [IL-6, TNF-α]) factors in breast cancer survivors (BCS) ages 21 to 65, 6 months to 10 years after chemotherapy. The specific aims are (1) to assess the impact of the aforementioned psychosocial and behavioral factors on inflammatory markers after controlling for individual factors; (2) to assess the impact of inflammatory markers on cognitive function after controlling for individual factors; and (3) to explore direct and indirect effects of psychosocial and behavioral factors on cognitive function (through inflammatory mediators IL-6 and TNF-α) after controlling for selected individual factors.

Study review

This study aimed to identify psychosocial and behavioral factors associated with inflammation that may contribute to cognitive thinking (memory, attention, and processing speed) problems following chemotherapy. The researchers wanted to enroll up to 50 volunteers from the Army of Women (AOW) from the greater Austin, Texas area. The Call to Action for this study was sent to AOW members on September 28, 2016. The researchers closed enrollment on May 5, 2017, after the AOW provided them with 82 volunteers who were interested in enrolling in the study. The research team published the findings from this study in The Breast.