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Int J Nurs Stud. 1999 Aug;36(4):265-80.

Factors related to fatigue; priority of interventions to reduce or eliminate fatigue and the exploration of a multidisciplinary research model for further study of fatigue.

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  • 1Northern Centre for Healthcare Research, Department of Nursing Science, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


A growing interest in the health problem presented by fatigue, both in clinical practice and research, coupled with a decreasing number of reported studies on fatigue in the last decade, make an updated and systematic review of factors related to fatigue necessary. A search of the literature, comprising 53 studies, was therefore undertaken to explore the following research questions: Which significantly social-demographic, cure-related, and care-related factors are significantly correlated with fatigue? And which nursing interventions need priority in experimental research to reduce or eliminate fatigue? Reported factors related to fatigue in analysed studies show that the correlations between the specific cure- and care-related factors and fatigue are similar among the various investigated (patient) populations. This result supports the concept of the non-specific character of fatigue. The intervention of primary effectiveness most suggested in this study is 'energy management'. Interventions of secondary importance which emerge are those of 'emotional support', 'activity therapy' and 'coping enhancement'. This study makes clear that the exploration of a research model for fatigue, with social-demographic, cure- and care-related factors is useful and that care-related factors have their own effects on fatigue not necessarily dependent upon the presence of medical diseases or cure-related factors. In general, multi-related factors could be assessed. Implications and relevant questions for further research on fatigue are also given.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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