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Measures of Cognitive Function and Work in Occupationally Active Breast Cancer Survivors

Calvio, Lisseth PhD; Peugeot, Mark MS; Bruns, Gina L. MA; Todd, Briana L. MA; Feuerstein, Michael PhD, MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 2 - p 219-227
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181d0bef7
Original Articles

Objective: This study investigated performance-based and patient-reported cognitive limitations on work output.

Methods: Working breast cancer survivors (BCS) (n = 122) and a non-cancer comparison group (NCCG; n = 113) completed measures of cognitive function, fatigue, distress, job stress, and work output.

Results: Distress, fatigue, and job stress were higher in the BCS group who were on average 3-years post-treatment. Patient-reported cognitive limitations at work were related to work output in BCS (memory β = 0.29; executive function β = 0.26) only. Changes in work output were more responsive to changes in job stress and fatigue in the BCS group.

Conclusions: Reports of cognitive problems at work should be carefully followed up.

From the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology (Dr Calvio, Mr Peugeot, Ms Bruns, Ms Todd, Dr Feuerstein), Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md; Department of Psychology (Ms Bruns), American University, Washington, DC; and Department of Psychiatry (Dr Feuerstein), Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC.

The opinions and assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as being official or as reflecting the views of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences or the Department of Defense.

Address correspondence to: Michael Feuerstein, PhD, MPH, Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology and Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine