Objectives: This study identified women with unique trajectories of executive function, concentration, and visual working memory before and during adjuvant therapy for breast cancer, and examined phenotypic and genotypic predictors associated with subgroups.
Sample & Setting: 399 postmenopausal women, of whom 288 were women with early-stage breast cancer and 111 were women without breast cancer, matched on age and years of education to the women with breast cancer, and all at an urban cancer center.
Methods & Variables: A repeated-measures design was used; assessments occurred before adjuvant therapy and every six months post-therapy initiation. Group-based trajectory modeling determined subgroups. Multinomial logistic regression identified phenotypic and genotypic characteristics.
Results: Three executive function and concentration trajectory subgroups were identified: low, moderate, and high; two visual working memory subgroups were identified: low and high.
Implications for Nursing: Advancing age, greater pretherapy fatigue, and poorer pretherapy cognitive function are associated with the low subgroups. DNA repair and oxidative stress mechanisms may be involved in the cognitive changes that women experience.