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PM R. 2010 May;2(5):384-92. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2010.03.026.

Fatigue in systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, 240 E. Huron, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


Two inflammatory autoimmune diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, are characterized by fatigue. Patient reports support the significant negative impact of the symptom on functioning and well-being. The prevalence, trajectory, mechanism, and correlates of fatigue in each disease are reviewed. Some disease-focused treatments have demonstrated a reduction in fatigue. However, until recently, clinical trials have not routinely assessed fatigue. Analyses and interpretation of data have been hindered by variability in the reliability and validity of fatigue measures. Empirically based fatigue treatment guidelines are needed in both conditions.

Copyright (c) 2010 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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