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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pilot testing of the computerized cognitive test Microcog in chemotherapy-treated older cancer patients.

BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy has a potential for inducing cognitive side effects. However, no study has focused on elderly cancer patients, a group that might be at risk for this complication. Computerized cognitive tests are available and could simplify cooperative group studies on the matter, but have not been applied to older cancer patients. METHODS: We tested the performance of Microcog (short form) in a sample of 10 consecutive cancer patients, aged 70 and older, having received chemotherapy. Patients were also asked by questionnaire to express their comments on the test. RESULTS: Six patients had never used a computer. All reported at least minor visual impairment. All did complete the test without pause. Nine out of 10 thought that most patients like them would have no problems completing the test. As a group, our patient sample generally performed within normal limits for age and education. There were a wide range of scores for the majority of the subscales, with the greatest variability of scores in Spatial Processing and Information Processing Accuracy and the least variability in reaction time. The results were robust when assessed by level of computer literacy, minor auditory and visual problems, and fluent English as a second language. CONCLUSIONS: A computer test such as Microcog appears well feasible in older cancer patients. It appears robust to comorbidity. This bodes well for a potential use of such tests in trials conducted in this patient population.[1]


  1. Pilot testing of the computerized cognitive test Microcog in chemotherapy-treated older cancer patients. Extermann, M., Chen, H., Booth-Jones, M., Meyer, J., Balducci, L., Jacobsen, P. Crit. Rev. Oncol. Hematol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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