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Cancer Pract. 1995 May-Jun;3(3):164-72.

Fatigue in patients with cancer receiving interferon alpha.


Fatigue is the most frequently reported symptom of patients with cancer. The purpose of this study was to describe the experience of fatigue over time in patients with cancer receiving treatment with interferon alpha. Piper's Integrated Fatigue Model guided this study. A descriptive repeated-measures design was used. A convenience sample of 30 patients with malignant melanoma was drawn from a comprehensive cancer center in Southern California. Two instruments were used in data collection, the Symptom Distress Scale and the Piper Fatigue Scale. Study findings revealed descriptive data on patients' perceptions of the causes and remedies for fatigue while receiving active treatment for cancer. The pattern of fatigue was consistent over the five points of time during treatment, with the most extreme fatigue scores in the affective domain, followed by the sensory, temporal, total fatigue, and fatigue severity scores. The patterns and dimensions of fatigue provide implications for care of patients receiving interferon alpha, and for further investigation in the area of fatigue as a critical aspect of quality of life.

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