The association between antihormonal treatment and cognitive complaints in breast cancer survivors with sleep problems

Ali Amidi, Malene Damholdt, Jesper Ovesen Dahlgaard, Lee Ritterband, Robert Hugh Zachariae

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract in proceedingResearchpeer-review


Background: Cognitive complaints following chemotherapy are common and often associated with psychological distress. There is also a growing concern about cognitive problems among BC survivors receiving adjuvant antihormonal therapy. We, therefore, investigated the association between antihormonal therapies and cognitive complaints in baseline data from a sample of Danish BC survivors with sleep problems. Methods: Baseline data were collected from a nationwide sample of 255 Danish BC survivors experiencing significant sleep problems, recruited for trial of Internet‐delivered cognitive‐behavioral therapy for insomnia. The questionnaire package included the Cognitive Failure questionnaire (CFQ) and validated scales assessing sleep quality, symptoms of depression, fatigue, stress, and cancer‐related post‐traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Results: A total of 255 survivors were included for analysis. Statistically significant associations were observed between the CFQ and all measures of psychological distress (depression, fatigue, PTS, and perceived stress (r = 0.33–0.58, p's > 0.001)). Severity of sleep problems was also associated with the CFQ (r = 0.16, p = 0.01) There was no significant effect of antihormonal treatment on any of the psychological distress measures. However, we found statistically significant differences in cognitive complaints between survivors who received antihormonal treatment (n = 111, CFQ‐total = 33.4(SD = 15.2); CFQdistractibility = 10.4(SD = 5.7) vs. those who did not (n = 144, CFQtotal = 29.9(SD = 14.6); CFQ‐distractibility = 8.9(SD = 5.2) (p's = 0.06; 0.03). When adjusting for severity of sleep problems, symptoms of depression, PTS, fatigue, and perceived stress, these differences remained statistically significant (CFQ‐total: p = 0.047; CFQ‐distractibility: p = 0.03). Conclusion: BC survivors on antihormonal treatment endorsed more cognitive problems compared to those who did not. These results warrant further investigation into the possible detrimental cognitive effects of antihormonal treatments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsycho-oncology : Special Issue: Abstracts of the 2016 World Congress of Psycho-oncology, 17 – 21 October 2016, Dublin, Ireland
Number of pages1
Publication date17 Oct 2016
ISBN (Print)1099-1611
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2016
EventThe 2016 World Congress of Psycho-oncology - Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 17 Oct 201621 Oct 2016


ConferenceThe 2016 World Congress of Psycho-oncology


  • breast cancer

Cite this