The experience of fatigue in Turkish patients receiving chemotherapy

Sabire Yurtsever
Oncology Nursing Forum 2007, 34 (3): 721-8

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To determine the experience of fatigue in Turkish patients receiving chemotherapy.

DESIGN: Descriptive.

SETTING: Outpatient unit in a large university hospital in Ankara, Turkey.

SAMPLE: 100 patients randomly chosen from those who were undergoing chemotherapy at the outpatient unit.

METHODS: Data were collected using a personal information form developed by the investigator and a visual analog scale for fatigue.

MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Measures taken by patients to cope with fatigue, fatigue experienced by individuals affecting their daily activities, age and gender, disease and treatment factors, and symptoms related to the chemotherapy.

FINDINGS: The majority of patients (86%) experienced fatigue, and 73% stated that they coped with fatigue by decreasing their activities and resting more. Age was not a statistically significant factor affecting the level of fatigue, but gender was found to have an effect. Length of illness, number of chemotherapy courses, and the patients' symptoms affected level of fatigue.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of patients experienced fatigue, and most of the measures used to cope with fatigue were not effective. Fatigue affected patients' daily activities.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: A need exists for more and better interventions to help patients cope with chemotherapy-related fatigue.

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