Newly diagnosed patients with glioma in the left (n = 73; 49% glioblastoma) or right (n = 30; 57% glioblastoma) temporal lobe completed comprehensive neuropsychological testing. Clinicians rated patient functional independence using the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) scale. Correlational and regression analysis were conducted to determine relationships between neurocognitive functioning and functional independence.
Tests of verbal learning, executive function, and language comprehension were moderately to strongly associated with clinician-rated functional independence, particularly for items pertaining to need for assistance with memory, problem-solving, and language functions. Stepwise linear regression showed that tests of verbal learning, executive functioning, and language comprehension predicted FIM ratings, together accounting for 40% of variance (P < .001). A test of executive functioning also predicted KPS scores and accounted for 19% of variance (P < .001).
In patients with newly diagnosed temporal lobe glioma, neurocognitive functioning is associated with functional independence. Verbal learning, executive functioning, and language comprehension demonstrated the strongest associations across both measures of functional independence. These findings provide support for the ecological validity of neuropsychological assessment by demonstrating the real-world clinical significance of objectively assessed neurocognitive functioning in glioma patients 1).