Current Breast Cancer Reports

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 151–157 | Cite as

Screening for Cognitive Impairment Associated with Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer

  • Diane F. MoreanEmail author
  • Leora R. Cherney
Clinical Trials (S Hurvitz, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Clinical Trials


At least 20 % of women treated with chemotherapy for breast cancer experience some form of cognitive decline. Recent recommendations call for clinicians to screen cognitive abilities. Screening of factors that can contribute to cognitive impairment is also currently recommended. We describe a battery of free, online, self-report surveys that would take approximately 30 min to complete in the context of an overall functional assessment of wellness. Key physical characteristics to be screened include fatigue and insomnia. Significant psychological characteristics include distress, depression, and anxiety. Fundamental social characteristics include basic needs, workplace issues, and interpersonal well-being. Systematic screening that could be completed in the clinic waiting room or during chemotherapy infusion is an important first step towards more holistic patient care that addresses cognitive side effects, just as physical side effects of treatment are routinely addressed.


Breast neoplasms Adjuvant chemotherapy Adverse effects Brain Cognition Cognition disorders Memory Executive function Fatigue Psychological stress Depression Anxiety Surveys and questionnaires Survivors Quality of life 



The study was supported by an Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Award: Interventions for Neurologic Communication Disorders (award no. 90AR5015-01-00) from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and the Evergreen Invitational Women’s Health Grants Initiative. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Diane F. Morean and Leora R. Cherney declare that they have nothing to declare.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rehabilitation Institute of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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