Engaging carers in neuropsychological rehabilitation for brain cancer survivors: The "I'm aware: Patients And Carers Together" (ImPACT) program

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cognitive impairment is a common late effect in child and adult brain cancer survivors (BCS). Still, there is a dearth of research aimed at therapeutic interventions and no standard treatment options for most BCS.

OBJECTIVE: To describe 1) a novel neuropsychological rehabilitation program for BCS - the "I'm aware: Patients And Carers Together (ImPACT)" program, and 2) two studies that aim to assess the feasibility of the ImPACT program in child and adult BCS, respectively. The program adapts the holistic neuropsychological approach pioneered by Leonard Diller and Yehuda Ben-Yishay to an outpatient setting.

METHODS: Two feasibility studies are described: 1) A single-armed study with 15 child BCS (10-17 years) (ImPACT Child); and 2) a randomized waitlist-controlled trial with 25 adult BCS (>17 years) (ImPACT Adult). In both studies, patients will undergo an 8-week program together with a cohabiting carer. Primary outcomes (i.e., cognitive and neurobehavioral symptoms), and secondary outcomes (i.e., behavioral and psychological symptoms, e.g., quality of life, fatigue) will be assessed at four time points: pre-, mid-, and post intervention, and 8 weeks follow-up. Adult waitlist controls will be assessed at equivalent time points and will be included in the intervention group after all study assessments. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted at follow-up.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES: Results will provide feasibility data in support of future larger scale trials.

DISCUSSION: The findings could potentially improve the management of cognitive impairment in BCS and transform available services. The program can be delivered in-person or remotely and harnesses existing resources in patients' lives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107419
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Pages (from-to)107419
ISSN1551-7144
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

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