Cognitive rehabilitation and problem-solving to improve quality of life of patients with primary brain tumors: a pilot study

J Support Oncol. 2008 Nov-Dec;6(8):383-91.


Caregivers of patients with brain tumors frequently identify cognitive impairment in their loved ones as their greatest burden, but only one published study has examined a cognitive-rehabilitation intervention for adults with brain tumors. Emotional distress and poor quality of life (QOL) also have been identified as important issues, yet they have been excluded from most intervention studies that target coping and mood. The primary aim of this pilot study was to determine the feasibility and tolerability of a combined cognitive-rehabilitation and problem-solving-therapy intervention for patients with brain tumors and their caregivers. In all, 19 patient/caregiver pairs were enrolled and randomized, and 13 pairs completed the 2-week trial. After receiving the intervention, 88% of patients used the study-specific strategies, and 88% indicated that they would recommend the intervention to other patients diagnosed with a brain tumor. The study intervention was described as "very helpful" or "somewhat helpful" by 88% of study participants. Caregivers were similarly enthusiastic about the intervention. The results showed that patients with brain tumors who have cognitive impairment can participate meaningfully in a structured intervention, and they supported further research into the potential effectiveness of formal rehabilitation targeting cognitive and QOL symptoms for patients with brain tumors and their caregivers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Cognition Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Problem Solving*
  • Quality of Life*