Quality of Life and Neurocognitive Functioning in Children with Sickle Cell Disease: Investigating the Feasibility of a Computerized Cognitive Training Program
Children with sickle cell disease (SCD) have a high risk of neurocognitive impairment. No known research, however, has examined the impact of neurocognitive functioning on quality of life in this pediatric population. In addition, limited research has examined neurocognitive interventions for these children. In light of these gaps, two studies were undertaken to (a) examine the relationship between cognitive functioning and quality of life in a sample of children with SCD and (b) investigate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a computerized working memory training program in this population. Forty-five youth (ages 8-16) with SCD and a caregiver were recruited for the first study. Participants completed measures of cognitive ability, quality of life, and psychosocial functioning. Results indicated that cognitive ability significantly predicted child- and parent-reported quality of life among youth with SCD. In turn, a randomized-controlled trial of a computerized working memory program was undertaken. Eighteen youth with SCD and a caregiver enrolled in this study, and were randomized to a waitlist control or the working memory training condition. Data pertaining to cognitive functioning, psychosocial functioning, and disease characteristics were obtained from participants. The results of this study indicated a high degree of acceptance for this intervention but poor feasibility in practice. Factors related to feasibility were identified. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Computerized Cognitive Intervention
Quality of Life
Sickle Cell Disease
Working Memory Training
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