Background and purpose: We aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation on executive functions (attention and working memory) in adolescents surviving acute lymphoblastic leukemia with a history of chemotherapy.
Materials and methods: This clinical trial was conducted in 30 adolescents who survived acute lymphoblastic leukemia and had a history of chemotherapy. The participants were randomly assigned to two groups of intervention and waiting list (n=15 per group). The subjects in the experimental group were provided with 12 45-minute sessions of cognitive rehabilitation of memory and attention. The data was obtained using Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and Continuous Performance Test in the three stages of pre-test, post-test, and follow-up. Data analysis was performed using descriptive (mean and standard deviation) and inferential statistics (MANCOVA).
Results: Wisconsin test showed significant improvements in the scores of working memory and shifting attention in components of correct responses, errors, classes, and preservation variable in the intervention group (P<0.05). Moreover, significant performance enhancement was observed in the continuous attention test and components of commission error and error of omission in continuous performance test among the intervention group (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Cognitive defects have negative impacts on the lives of of those surviving leukemia. Therefore, further studies are required to evaluate the role of cognitive rehabilitation in improvement of quality of life in this group of individuals.