Fatigue in chronic kidney disease: Definition, assessment and treatment.
Chronic fatigue--an overwhelming subjective feeling of mental or physical exhaustion--impacts patients' everyday functioning and quality of life, delays recovery after hemodialysis, and increases mortality. There are a number of factors that may perpetuate clinically significant fatigue among individuals with chronic kidney disease, including sleep disorders, depression, sedentary lifestyle, anemia, and chronic inflammation. Some of these factors (i.e., anemia and inflammation) are in the forefront of clinical attention, whereas the other contributing factors often remain unrecognized. This article provides a pragmatic overview of the definition, assessment, maintaining factors, and management of fatigue in chronic kidney disease. Given that chronic fatigue is a major determinant of patients' quality of life, nurses can bring about a fundamental improvement in patients' well-being if they recognize the most common fatigue-perpetuating factors and facilitate fatigue management interventions.
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