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J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2019 Jun;8(3):297-303. doi: 10.1089/jayao.2018.0091. Epub 2019 Feb 20.

Cancer-Related Fatigue and Associated Factors in Young Adult Cancer Patients.

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1 Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
2 Faculty of Managerial and Cultural Studies, University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz, Görlitz, Germany.
3 Rehabilitation Clinic Bad Oexen, Bad Oexen, Germany.


Purpose: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a highly burdensome and long-lasting symptom of cancer and its therapy. This study aims to examine the severity of CRF in its different dimensions and to assess medical and sociodemographic factors associated with CRF in young adults with cancer (adolescents and young adults [AYAs]). Methods: Patients with malignant cancer (diagnosed within the last 4 years) aged 18-39 years at diagnosis were assessed. CRF was measured using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Fatigue Module (EORTC QLQ-FA12) Questionnaire. Sociodemographic and medical data were collected with self-report questionnaires. Descriptive analyses, cluster analysis, and multiple regression analysis were used to examine CRF in AYAs. Results: In total, n = 577 patients were included. Respondents' fatigue scores were highest for the physical subscale (mean = 45.6; standard deviation [SD] = 28.2), followed by the emotional (mean = 26.7; SD = 28.8) and cognitive dimensions (mean = 19.7; SD = 22.7). Female participants, patients with an additional disease, and patients with financial problems resulting from having cancer reported significantly higher fatigue scores for all three of the subscales (R2 range: 0.10-0.22). Testicular cancer patients had the lowest CRF scores for every dimension. Breast and gynecological cancer patients had the highest emotional and cognitive fatigue scores. Conclusion: Medical variables such as cancer site and therapy scheme seem to have little influence. Caregivers should assess CRF in AYAs independent of their medical characteristics. Reducing additional burdens may represent a way of reducing CRF in AYA cancer patients.


CRF; fatigue; prevalence; survivor


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