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BrainBaseline CARE: Feasibility Study on a Cancer Patient Cognitive Assessment Platform

Joan Severson, MS, Digital Artefacts LLC, Iowa City, Iowa
Study abstract

It is becoming clear that cancer and subsequent treatment impact cognitive function. These deficits may result either from pathological changes due to cancer itself, the treatment program, or both. Despite the prevalence of cognitive symptoms, it is currently difficult to accurately assess the symptoms for a number of reasons. Specifically, existing ‘gold standard’ assessments often lack sensitivity to many cancer related deficits, cannot be repeated and thus cannot be used for monitoring of cognitive change, and are generally disconnected from the cognitive psychology and neuroscience tasks that inform our current mechanistic understanding of cognitive function. We have developed a mobile platform for collecting cognitive and behavioral data that overcomes the issues noted above. In the current proposal, our objective are to 1) develop a cancer-specific cognitive assessment tool that can be used with minimal supervision inside or outside of a clinic, 2) develop a clinician dashboard that provides access to data collected through the platform, and 3) perform comprehensive usability testing of the prototype product with a group of clinicians and patients with cancer. The ultimate goal will be to develop a fully functional prototype assessment tool that can be used in comprehensive validation studies in Phase II.

Study review

This study investigated the feasibility of using the BrainBaseline© iPad app to identify problems with cognitive functioning in women and men who are, or have been, diagnosed with cancer. The researchers turned to the Army of Women (AOW) to enroll up to 500 volunteers from anywhere in the U.S. The Call to Action for this study was sent to AOW members on April 12, 2017. The researchers closed enrollment five months later, on September 11, 2017, after the AOW provided them with 683 participants who were interested in enrolling in the study.

Resulting Publications: