The aims of this qualitative descriptive study were to describe the experience of chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) for women with breast cancer who received chemotherapy; and identify information about CRCI that women would find useful prior to chemotherapy and the onset of CRCI. In-depth interviews were conducted with 18 women who reported changes in cognitive function and were within 6-12 months of completing chemotherapy. Participants described issues with short term memory, trouble focusing, and difficulty with word finding, reading, and driving. Support and validation of the experience was acknowledged as important. Coping strategies included writing things down, depending on others, focusing on one task at a time, and giving oneself permission to make mistakes. Participants wanted to receive information about CRCI prior to initiating chemotherapy and desired an individualized approach to education and made specific recommendations for educational content. On-going assessment for CRCI and reinforcement of education were recommended.
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