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Rebecca Lehto on Worry and Cognitive Function

Monday, May 06, 2013
Rebecca Lehto, PhD, RN, OCN, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Michigan State University, discusses worry and cognitive function following a lung cancer diagnosis.

After a lung cancer diagnosis, or a suspected diagnosis, nurses expect the majority of patients to have some psychological distress. However, worry and cognitive effectiveness are markers of potentially higher levels of distress. Worry and cognitive function are correlated in that patients have to actually inhibit their worries in order to concentrate on treatment-related information.

These worries can be a great distraction to a patient to acquire and understand information and function effectively. It is crucial for a nurse to have a sense of a patient's worry and cognitive function before they go into the operating room or begin a treatment regimen.

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