Study findings suggest patients’ subjective concerns of cancer-related cognitive impairment appear to be critical to patient outcomes

doctor with elderly man

According to an article published in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, subjective concerns of cancer-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) have a greater impact on patient experience than objective measurements in men with prostate cancer (PCa).

The prospective analysis included 24 new patients with PCa receiving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and radiation therapy (RT) during the first 12 months of treatment. The participants completed subjective and objective assessments of cognition, sleep continuity, and self-reported measures of insomnia, fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

The results showed that 29% of patients demonstrated impaired objective cognition, while a separate 29% experienced significant declines in subjective cognition during the first year of treatment. However, the presence of objective measures of CRCI was not related to perceived CRCI.

Having a perception of poor sleep, such as suffering from insomnia, low total sleep time, or sleep efficiency, was particularly noticeable for those men experiencing cognitive impairments during ADT and RT. The authors say that improving sleep, particularly with cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia, could be a valuable target to improve CRCI in patients with PCa.

These findings suggest that healthcare professionals should be vigilant regarding patients’ subjective concerns, since these appear to be critical to patient outcomes.

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.