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Asian / Pacific Island Nursing Journal

Corresponding Author

Agung Waluyo

Abstract

Impairment of cognitive function is a common complaint by post-chemotherapy breast cancer survivors, specifically impairment of verbal learning and memory. The objective of this study was to identify the association between age, duration of education, chemotherapy type, hormone therapy usage, menopausal status, sleep quality, fatigue, stress, and hemoglobin (Hb) levels to memory and verbal learning function. This cross-sectional study consisted of 82 post-chemotherapy breast cancer survivors, 81 non-chemotherapy survivors, and 80 non-cancer female patients in two hospitals. The data were collected using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test in Indonesian, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, 10-item Perceived Stress Scale, and the Piper Fatigue Scale-12. All instruments were already adopted into Indonesian. Characteristic data were obtained from hospital reports. The mean age of the respondents was 43.06 (8.18) years, 197 (81.1%) had been educated for ≤12 years, 82 (33.7%) were post-chemotherapy survivors, 46 (18.9%) were using hormonal therapy, and 125 (51.4%) had gone through menopause. Among the remaining respondents, 91 (37.4%) were anemic, 124 (51.0%) had poor sleep quality, and 115 (47.3%) experienced moderate fatigue. Twenty-one (25.6%) of post-chemotherapy survivors had a high possibility of having dementia. The significant variables associated with memory and verbal learning function included age, stress, survivor type, chemotherapy category, sleep quality, and fatigue. The insignificant variables included the length of education, hormone therapy usage, menopausal status, and hemoglobin levels. A logistic regression analysis showed that stress was the most influential variable with an odds ratio of 1.159. It is recommended that nurses consider the significant variables when providing services to post-chemotherapy breast cancer survivors.

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