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J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 1999 Mar-Apr;28(2):193-200.

The fatigue experience for women with human immunodeficiency virus.

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School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, 94143-0606, USA.



To examine fatigue as a symptom experienced by women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).


A convenience sample of 100 women with HIV.


Independent sample t-tests were used to test for mean differences in fatigue related to variables in the women's sociocultural and home environment (ethnicity, employment, marital status, and parenting). Pearson product moment correlations were used to examine significant relationships between fatigue and physiologic variables (age, CD4 cell count, and sleep).


Lower CD4 cell counts were related to more daytime sleep, higher evening fatigue, and higher morning fatigue. Morning fatigue was related to duration of wake episodes during the night, napping, and perception of sleep disturbance during the past week. The number of awakenings during the first night predicted the severity of fatigue the next evening.


To understand the fatigue experienced by women with HIV, researchers and clinicians must focus on the relative contributions of sociocultural, home, and physiologic environments within which these women live. Additional research is ongoing to identify the strategies these women use to manage daily activities such that gender-relevant and culturally relevant interventions for alleviating fatigue can be tested in women with a variety of chronic illnesses, including HIV and acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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