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Int J Palliat Nurs. 2006 May;12(5):202-8.

Fatigue in frail elderly people.

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School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine, Edith Cowan University, Pearson Street, Churchlands, Western Australia, 6018.


Many frail older people are likely to suffer from fatigue, but tools to measure fatigue in this population are lacking. Stage one of this study explored and described the experiences of fatigue of 12 older people from Australian residential aged care facilities. Themes identified were pacing yourself, battling on, hitting rock bottom, feeling safe, and moving on. Findings indicated that, with support, frail elders may be able to manage fatigue effects themselves. A measure of fatigue was developed from stage one findings, with reference to the literature. In stage two of the study, the Frail Elder Fatigue Assessment Tool was subjected to panel review, piloting, and refinement. The refined tool comprises 20 items in three subscales: fatigue effects; fatigue resources; and adaptation to fatigue. Further work is required to establish the tool's psychometric properties, but it should then be useful for both research and clinical assessment purposes.

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