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Focus Forward: Journey Out of the Fog Research Study

A study for people with breast cancer who experience mental fogginess or memory problems that interfere with everyday activities after completing chemotherapy — often referred to as "chemo brain"

Focus Forward is an educational intervention developed by occupational therapists at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute. It is designed to help individuals with breast cancer understand and manage their thinking challenges – or "chemo brain."

Researchers are trying to learn how these people respond to Focus Forward, so improvements can be made and its effectiveness evaluated in a larger future study.

Requirements for participation

You must :

  • be 18 years of age or older
  • have breast cancer; and it has been 3-18 months since you completed your primary therapies (chemotherapy or chemotherapy/radiation)
  • describe cognitive problems that interfere with your performance of daily activities
  • speak English.

You cannot participate in this study if you have:

  • a previous history of cancer that required chemotherapy
  • other neurologic or psychiatric disorders
  • a history of moderate to severe head trauma
  • a current or past history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • cognitive problems resulting from other conditions.

Candidates for this study are those experiencing the following symptoms that interfere with daily activities:

  • being unusually disorganized
  • difficulty concentrating
  • difficulty finding the right word
  • difficulty learning new skills
  • difficulty multitasking
  • feeling of mental fogginess
  • short-term memory problems.

Study schedule

If you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to attend six (6) sessions, one day a week, for six weeks.

  • First session: You will be evaluated using a set of tests to measure how you are functioning.
  • Second through fifth sessions: You will receive the educational intervention and are expected to practice between sessions the strategies you learn.
  • Sixth session: You will be re-evaluated using the same set of tests from the first session and asked to provide feedback about your participation in this study.

Costs, parking and materials

  • There is no cost for participating.
  • You will receive a parking voucher for each session you attend, a Focus Forward book, timer and pedometer.

Conducted by the Courage Kenny Research Center with funding from the Courage Kenny Foundation in partnership with the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute®.