Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 109, Issue 2, pp 331–339 | Cite as

Neurocognitive and sociodemographic functioning of glioblastoma long-term survivors

  • Birgit Flechl
  • Michael Ackerl
  • Cornelia Sax
  • Karin Dieckmann
  • Richard Crevenna
  • Alexander Gaiger
  • Georg Widhalm
  • Matthias Preusser
  • Christine Marosi
Clinical Study


An increasing number of patients with glioblastoma multiforme live longer than 3 years after diagnosis (long-term survivors). Even so, little is known about their everyday performance and quality of life. We studied 17 glioblastoma patients surviving for longer than 3 years. We assessed all patients using the computerized neurocognitive assessment instrument NeuroCog FX test, the EORTC QLQ-C30, the EORTC QLQ-BN20, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Ten-Meter Walking Test, the Nine Hole Peg Test, the Boston Aphasia Severity Scale, and the Activities of Daily Living and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living forms. We included 9 female and 8 male glioblastoma long-term survivors with a median age of 51 years (24–71). The majority of the patients (10/17) scored normal in the NeuroCog FX test. However, financial difficulties, reduced social and cognitive functioning, and future uncertainty were frequently reported. Three patients showed conspicuous depression scores, two had noticeable anxiety results. Drowsiness and fatigue were the most often reported physical complaints. There were 12/17 patients who were fully independent concerning activities of daily living and 14 patients (82%) showed ≥90 points in the Barthel Index, but 6 patients (35%) were impaired in their manual dexterity, and 1 patient in mobility. Glioblastoma long-term survivors show moderate impairment in their cognitive functions and more often neurological symptoms. However, the majority of these patients are able to manage their daily routine independently. Nevertheless, future prospects remain poor and patients suffer from financial difficulties.


Brain tumor Cognition Glioblastma multiforme Long-term survivor Neurocognitive outcome Quality of life Sociodemographic characteristics 



This study is part of the doctoral thesis “Evaluation of Health-related Quality of Life in adult patients with glioblastoma multiforme and in their primary caregivers” in Austria (available at: There was no funding for this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11060_2012_897_MOESM1_ESM.doc (42 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 42 kb)
11060_2012_897_MOESM2_ESM.doc (155 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 155 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Birgit Flechl
    • 1
  • Michael Ackerl
    • 1
  • Cornelia Sax
    • 1
  • Karin Dieckmann
    • 2
  • Richard Crevenna
    • 3
  • Alexander Gaiger
    • 4
  • Georg Widhalm
    • 5
  • Matthias Preusser
    • 1
  • Christine Marosi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine I, Medical University of ViennaAustria Comprehensive Cancer Center - Central Nervous System Tumours Unit (CCC-CNS)ViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of RadiotherapyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.Department of Internal Medicine 1, Division of Hematology and HemostaseologyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  5. 5.Department of NeurosurgeryMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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