Prevalence of cognitive impairment and its relation to mental health in Danish lymphoma survivors


Support Care Cancer. 2020 Oct 28. doi: 10.1007/s00520-020-05857-4. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: This study sought to investigate the prevalence of self-reported cognitive impairment and its relation to illness and treatment characteristics and mental health in Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) survivors as cancer-related cognitive impairment has not been extensively studied in lymphoma survivors.

METHODS: One hundred fifteen HL and DLBCL survivors (mean age = 40.3 years, mean months since completed treatment = 29.6) completed questionnaires on executive function and mental health. We examined the prevalence of executive impairment and compared illness and treatment characteristics and mental health across survivors reporting impaired and non-impaired executive functioning using chi-square, Cochran-Armitage, and Mann-Whitney U tests.

RESULTS: We found that 39% reported executive impairment. Survivors reporting impaired executive functioning reported worse mental health (ps < .001) than survivors reporting non-impaired executive functioning. A larger proportion of the impaired group had received a high chemo dose compared to the non-impaired group although this result fell short of significance after adjustment for multiple comparisons (p = .017).

CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported cognitive impairment is prevalent in HL and DLBCL survivors and is associated with worse mental health and possibly high chemo dose. Future studies should investigate objective impairment and the possible dose-response relationship between chemo dose and cognitive impairment in lymphoma survivors.