Brief self-report measure of work-related cognitive limitations in breast cancer survivors

Alicia Ottati, Michael Feuerstein
Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice 2013, 7 (2): 262-73

PURPOSE: The purpose of this research was to develop a brief, reliable self-report measure of work-related cognitive limitations in occupationally active breast cancer survivors.

METHODS: A pooled dataset of working breast cancer survivors (n = 228) completed a self-report measure of work-related cognitive limitations, the Cognitive Symptom Checklist-Work-59 (CSC-W59). A cross-validation technique was employed such that the pooled participants were randomized into two separate groups in order to conduct exploratory factor analysis (EFA) of the CSC-W59 with one group (n = 114) and confirm the results with the second group (n = 114).

RESULTS: EFA of the CSC-W59 identified 21 items with a consistent factor loading of .4 or higher on three separate subscales (Working Memory, Executive Function, and Task Completion). These findings resulted in a 21-item, self-report measure referred to as the Cognitive Symptom Checklist-Work-21 (CSC-W21). The CSC-W21 demonstrated internal reliability (α = .88). Construct validity of the CSC-W21 is supported by significant positive correlations with cancer stage, job stress, and affective state.

CONCLUSIONS: Brief, valid, internally reliable self-report measures such as the CSC-W21 may be used to quickly assess work-related cognitive problems for breast cancer survivors at work.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: A brief measure is available to help identify tasks that present problems for breast cancer survivors who are at work. This measure can be used to facilitate research to improve the understanding and mitigation of cognitive challenges in breast cancer survivors in the work setting.

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