Unified Barlow Protocol (UP) in Cancer Survivors for Cognitive Impairments

  • End date
    Dec 31, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Universidad de Córdoba
Updated on 24 May 2022


Background: Cognitive impairment appears frequently in cancer survivors, negatively affecting the quality of life and emotional well-being of patients. This study compares the effectiveness of a well-established treatment (cognitive rehabilitation) with the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (UP) to alleviate these cognitive deficits and evaluate its effect on anxiety-depressive symptoms and the quality of life of survivors.

Methods: A three-arm randomized superiority clinical trial, with a pre-post and follow-up repeated measures and intergroup design with a 1:1:1 allocation ratio will be carried out. A hundred and twenty-three breast cancer survivors with mild to moderate cognitive impairment will be randomly assigned to one of the interventions of the study: cognitive rehabilitation intervention group, an intervention group with UP intervention, or a control group on the waiting list. The primary outcome is to observe a significant improvement in cognitive function and quality of life in both intervention groups and a significant decrease in emotional impairments in comparison with the waitlist group. These results will be maintained at six months of follow-up.

Discussion: The aim of this work is to test the efficacy of the Unified Barlow Protocol in reducing cognitive deficits in breast cancer survivors. The results of this trial may be useful in reducing the presence of cognitive problems in survivors and improving their emotional state and quality of life.

Condition Cancer, Breast
Treatment Neuropsychological treatment, Waitlist Group, Unified Protocol for the Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (PU).
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05289258
SponsorUniversidad de Córdoba
Last Modified on24 May 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Cancer diagnosis, stages I-III
Cancer type: Breast
Have received the last chemotherapy session in the last 6 months and a maximum of 6 years of treatment completion
Probable or mild to moderate cognitive impairment (score between 26 and 10 points according to the MMSE)
Ability to be fluent in Spanish
Not currently participating in another clinical trial
Not currently receiving other psychological treatment

Exclusion Criteria

Men and women aged > 70 years
Diagnosis of cancer, stage IV or other types of cancer
Last chemotherapy session < 6 months or > 6 years
No cognitive impairment (MMSE score between 30 and 27 points)
Diagnosis of mental disorder (including substance abuse) prior to cancer diagnosis
Relapse in disease after chemotherapy treatment is completed
Neurodevelopmental Disorder Diagnosis
Diagnosis of diseases that affect cognitive performance such as: hypertension, cardiac diseases, epilepsy, dementias, multiple sclerosis, functional disorders (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, post-concussion syndrome, whiplash syndrome), CNS infections (HIV, encephalitis), metabolic disorders (diabetes, B12 deficiency), obstructive sleep apnea, brain damage (stroke, TBI, CNS cancer) and use of medications / substances that interfere with cognitive function such as pregabalin, gabapentin, topiramate, antidepressants tricyclics, sodium valproate, anticholinergics, methylphenidate, typical antipsychotics
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