A randomized trial of videoconference-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy for survivors of breast cancer with self-reported cognitive dysfunction

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Long-term chemotherapy-related cognitive dysfunction (CRCD) affects a large number of cancer survivors. To the authors' knowledge, to date there is no established treatment for this survivorship problem. The authors herein report results of a small randomized controlled trial of a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Memory and Attention Adaptation Training (MAAT), compared with an attention control condition. Both treatments were delivered over a videoconference device.


A total of 47 survivors of female breast cancer who reported CRCD were randomized to MAAT or supportive therapy and were assessed at baseline, after treatment, and at 2 months of follow-up. Participants completed self-report measures of cognitive symptoms and quality of life and a brief telephone-based neuropsychological assessment.


MAAT participants made gains in perceived (self-reported) cognitive impairments (P = .02), and neuropsychological processing speed (P = .03) compared with supportive therapy controls. A large MAAT effect size was observed at the 2-month follow-up with regard to anxiety concerning cognitive problems (Cohen's d for standard differences in effect sizes, 0.90) with medium effects noted in general function, fatigue, and anxiety. Survivors rated MAAT and videoconference delivery with high satisfaction.


MAAT may be an efficacious psychological treatment of CRCD that can be delivered through videoconference technology. This research is important because it helps to identify a treatment option for survivors that also may improve access to survivorship services. Cancer2016;122:1782-91. © 2016 American Cancer Society.

A randomized controlled trial comparing brief cognitive behavioral therapy (Memory and Attention Adaptation Training [MAAT]) with an attention control condition (supportive therapy [ST]) was conducted among survivors of breast cancer who reported cognitive dysfunction after chemotherapy. Both MAAT and ST were delivered over a videoconference device. MAAT participants made significant improvements in self-reported cognitive impairments and neuropsychological processing speed compared with controls. MAAT may be an effective videoconference cognitive behavioral therapy for cognitive dysfunction among survivors of breast cancer.

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