Cognitive changes are a common side-effect of cancer treatments for many adult cancer survivors. Increased fatigue, stress, and anxiety are also among the most common symptoms experienced. The combination of these symptoms and side effects can profoundly impact participation in daily activities and reduce quality of life. The interventions used in our Cancer Survivorship Program target functional cognitive performance and help participants become more aware of what situations and factors may present a greater challenge.
During the first couple of sessions, the OT completes a comprehensive evaluation tailored to the individual’s cognitive concerns and other physical or psychosocial factors that could further impact their performance. Such factors may include coordination, visual perception, hearing, balance, fatigue, sleep quality, anxiety, stress, depression, and/or social considerations.
An evidence-based metacognitive strategy training intervention called “The MultiContext (MC) Approach” (https://multicontext.net/treatment-approach) provides the foundation from which executive function deficits are addressed. In the MC approach, the therapist uses specialized mediation methods to coach and guide individuals in a way that facilitates their own thinking. This helps the person become more aware of factors and situations that pose greater challenges. Ultimately, this therapeutic approach empowers the person to generate and use cognitive strategies to manage cognitive errors across a variety of everyday activities (Toglia & Foster, 2021).
Fatigue, anxiety, and stress management are also core components of the program. Participants are offered education and opportunities to practice a variety of adaptive strategies to manage these symptoms as they relate to activities they want and need to do.
Potential outcomes for participants of this include increased independence, maintaining or returning to home and community roles, improved confidence with social relationships, reduced stress and anxiety, lowered fatigue, and improved use of strategies to successfully complete cognitive tasks.
If you or someone you know could benefit from our Cancer Survivorship services, please call 314-286-1669 to inquire about scheduling an appointment.
Toglia, J., & Foster, E. R. (2021). The multicontext approach to cognitive rehabilitation: A metacognitive strategy intervention to optimize functional cognition. Gatekeeper Press.