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Effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on cancer-related cognitive impairment: Results of a randomized controlled functional magnetic resonance imaging pilot study.
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
BackgroundMany breast cancer survivors suffer from cognitive complaints after cancer treatment, affecting their quality of life. The objective of this pilot study was to investigate the effect of a blended‐care mindfulness‐based intervention (MBI) on chemotherapy‐related cognitive impairment and functional brain changes. Furthermore, correlations between changes in cognitive functioning and self‐reported behavioral factors were investigated.MethodsBreast cancer survivors (n = 33) who reported cognitive impairment were randomly allocated to a mindfulness condition (n = 18) or a waitlist control condition (n = 15). Patients completed questionnaires on cognitive impairment, emotional distress, and fatigue; neuropsychological tests; and resting‐state functional magnetic resonance imaging before the start of MBI (time 1 [T1]), immediately after the completion of an 8‐week MBI program (T2), and 3 months postintervention (T3). Resting‐state functional connectivity was estimated in the default mode network, the dorsal and salience attention networks, and the frontoparietal network. Mixed model repeated‐measures analysis was performed to test the intervention effect.ResultsPatients in the mindfulness condition exhibited significantly higher connectivity between the dorsal and salience attention networks after the mindfulness intervention compared with those in the control condition. MBI participants also had reduced subjective cognitive impairment, emotional distress, and fatigue. No intervention effect was observed on neurocognitive tests.ConclusionsMBI may induce functional brain changes in networks related to attention and may have a positive effect on subjective measures of cognitive impairment in breast cancer survivors. Therefore, MBI could be a suitable intervention to improve quality of life in this population and deserves further study in this context.
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