The relationship between visuospatial memory and coping strategies in breast cancer survivors

Michelle Ayala-Feliciano, Jaime J. Pons-Valerio, José Pons-Madera, Summer F. Acevedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: In the US there are over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors (BCSs), most of whom have required some type of intensive treatment. How individuals cope with the treatment process may relate to why neurocognitive problems arise. Method: We explored the impact of treatment for breast cancer (BC) on performance of the Memory Island task, both on working memory and on the general index of cognitive performance in relation to coping strategies of BCSs compared to age-matched controls. Results: The evidence obtained suggests a reduced performance in visuospatial memory in BCSs. Those who used emotional coping strategies displayed reduced performance in visuospatial learning and immediate memory. Those women who used problem-focused coping strategies performed better in those tasks measuring psychomotor speed, general intelligence, and delayed visuospatial memory. Conclusions: It is concluded that further investigation of the relationship between coping strategies and performance on visuospatial tasks may provide useful information on residual levels of neurocognitive deficits and psychosocial adaptation in BCSs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-130
Number of pages14
JournalBreast Cancer: Basic and Clinical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • Breast cancer survivors
  • Emotion-focused
  • Memory Island
  • Problem-focused
  • Puerto Rican
  • Visuospatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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