eHealth cognitive rehabilitation for brain tumor patients: Results of a randomized controlled trial

Sophie D. Van Der Linden, Geert-Jan M. Rutten, Linda Dirven, Martin J. B. Taphoorn, Djaina D. Satoer, Clemens M. F. Dirven, Margriet M. Sitskoorn, Karin Gehring*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background
Evidence-based cognitive rehabilitation programs for brain tumor patients are not widely available, despite the high need. We aimed to evaluate the effects of a tablet-based cognitive rehabilitation program on cognitive performance, cognitive complaints, fatigue, and psychological distress in primary brain tumor patients following neurosurgery. Also, attrition, adherence and patient satisfaction with the program were evaluated.

Methods
Adults with presumed low-grade glioma and meningioma were recruited before surgery. Three months thereafter, participants were allocated to the intervention group or waiting-list control group using minimization. The 10-week eHealth app ReMind, based on the effective face-to-face intervention, consisted of psychoeducation, strategy-training and attention retraining. Performance-based cognitive outcomes and patient-reported outcomes were assessed before surgery and 3, 6 and 12 months thereafter. Mean scores, percentages of cognitively impaired individuals and reliable change indices (RCIs) were compared between groups.

Results
Sixty-two out of 183 eligible patients were randomized. Of the people who declined, 56% reported that participation would to be too burdensome. All participants found a tablet-app suitable for delivery of cognitive rehabilitation and 90% rated the program as “good” or “excellent”. Performance-based cognitive outcomes and patient-reported outcomes did not significantly differ in group means over time nor RCIs between the intervention (final n = 20) and control group (final n = 25).

Conclusions
Recruitment at this early stage was difficult, resulting in limited statistical power. No significant effects were demonstrated, while adherence and satisfaction with the eHealth program were good. In clinical practice, ReMind may be helpful, if timing would be adapted to patients’ needs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

Keywords

  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • Glioma
  • Meningioma
  • Neurosurgery
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • eHealth

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