Meditation-Type Exercise for the Management of Chemotherapy Related Cognitive Impairment in Breast Cancer Patients
Date of Award
Evidence-Based Project Report
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment (CRCI), or “chemobrain”, is one of the most troublesome side effects of chemotherapy (Dijkshoorn et al., 2020). Ongoing CRCI may negatively affect relationships, confidence, sleep, fatigue, anxiety, and the ability to return to work activities leading to a decreased quality of life (Johns et al., 2016; Gokal et al., 2018). The purpose of this evidence-based practice (EBP) project was to assess the efficiency of a meditation-type exercise intervention, chair yoga, on decreasing perceived cognitive impairment (PCI) in breast cancer patients. The PICOT question for this project was: In breast cancer patients with chemotherapy related cognitive impairment (P), how does chair yoga (I) compared to standard care (C) affect perceived cognitive impairment (O) after 10 weeks (T)? Twenty-five female breast cancer patients from an oncology clinic in Northwest Indiana were screened for CRCI; defined as a score of ≤ 60 on the PCI portion of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Cognitive Function (FACT-Cog) (v3) assessment tool. A total of 10 women met eligibility criteria and agreed to participate in a 10-week, 150-minute per week, chair yoga program which included a free, 1-hour, biweekly yoga class. Participants were given a logbook to track yoga activity and provided support at scheduled appointments or by phone to promote adherence to the program. Eight participants remained in the program and completed the post-intervention FACT-Cog questionnaire. The pre-intervention and post-intervention FACT-Cog scores were analyzed for statistical significance using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. The primary outcome of this project demonstrated a nonsignificant increase in FACT-Cog scores (Z = 1.682, p = .092). Although the outcome was not statistically significant, this project emphasizes the need to manage CRCI and provides healthcare professionals with a reliable, validated tool for screening patients.
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Cain, Christine, "Meditation-Type Exercise for the Management of Chemotherapy Related Cognitive Impairment in Breast Cancer Patients" (2023). Evidence-Based Practice Project Reports. 192.
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