Cognitive complaints in cancer: The French version of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Cognitive Function (FACT-Cog), normative data from a healthy population

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2016;26(3):392-409. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2015.1036890. Epub 2015 May 7.


Cancer patients often report cognitive changes after chemotherapy. The Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Cognitive Function (FACT-Cog) is a self-report questionnaire that assesses these changes. The aims of the present study were (1) to establish normative data, and (2) to compare the scores of patients and healthy controls to assess whether or not the questionnaire is able to discriminate between these populations. The normative sample included 213 healthy participants. The patient group included 63 cancer patients treated with chemotherapy, who were compared to a subsample of 63 matched healthy controls. The questionnaire had good internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alphas = .74-.91). The oldest patients had significantly more cognitive complaints (p < .001). Cognitive complaints were significantly related with Trail Making Test scores (p < .001). Furthermore, the FACT-Cog subscales correlated significantly with anxiety and depression. Patients had more complaints than matched controls on the subscales Perceived Cognitive Impairments (p = .01), Impact on Quality of Life (p = .001) and Perceived Cognitive Abilities (p = .027). The reference values from the healthy population reported here could be used for comparison with the values measured in French-speaking cancer patients. The values provide a benchmark against which clinicians can evaluate the impact of the disease and/or the treatments on cognitive complaints and help to improve quality of life by providing appropriate care.

Keywords: Cancer; Cognitive complaints; Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT); Normative data; Quality of Life.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Report
  • Surveys and Questionnaires