Fatigue and unintentional weight loss are two of the commonest symptoms experienced by people with advanced progressive illness and can be of great concern to those affected and of even greater concern to formal and informal caregivers. No robust information currently exists on optimal interventions to manage fatigue and/or weight loss in any advanced progressive illness. This overview presents what we know from research held within Cochrane systematic reviews on treatments to manage these symptoms in non curative illnesses such as advanced cancer, heart failure, lung failure, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease, Parkinson's disease, dementia and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The treatment approaches for managing fatigue were pharmacological treatments including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), amantadine, carnitine and non pharmacological interventions including exercise and physical training, medically assisted hydration, psychosocial interventions including self management education programmes, occupational therapy and professional support services and dietary interventions including nutritional support. The treatment approaches for managing weight loss were pharmacological treatments including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), megestrol acetate and anabolic steroids and non pharmacological interventions including nutritional support, progressive resistive exercise and aerobic exercise. More research is required to determine which interventions help to manage these symptoms for those who are living with advanced illness. Researchers need to consider how they can reduce the variability of study design and outcome measurements to allow for meaningful comparisons across future studies.
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"At the same time, rehabilitation has become an integrative part of the clinical care of people after BC surgery, both for the treatments of motor and for health-related QoL aspects . In fact, exercise interventions are fundamental to improve the motor and psychological sequelae during treatment and in the post treatment rehabilitation period, as recently highlighted by recent Cochrane reviews on this topic   . A multidisciplinary educational treatment was found to be effective in improving functional abilities and wellbeing and also during the follow-up period after BC surgery . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In breast cancer survivors, own body image may change due to physical and psychological reasons, worsening women's living. The aim of the study was to investigate whether body image may affect the functional and quality of life outcomes after a multidisciplinary and educational rehabilitative intervention in sixty women with primary nonmetastatic breast cancer who have undergone conservative surgery.
To assess the quality of life was administered The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Study Group on Quality of Life core questionnaire, while to investigate the psychological features and self-image were administered the following scales: the Body Image Scale, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. To assess the recovery of the function of the shoulder were administered: the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand Questionnaire and the Constant-Murley Score. Data were collected at the baseline, at the end of the intervention, and at 3-month follow-up. We found a general improvement in the outcomes related to quality of life, and physical and psychological features after treatment (P < 0.001). During follow-up period, a higher further improvement in women without alterations in body image in respect of those with an altered self-perception of their own body was found (P = 0.01). In conclusion, the body image may influence the efficacy of a rehabilitative intervention, especially in the short term of follow-up.
"Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a serious and complex clinical problem  and is one of the most common symptoms experienced by oncology patients   . The proportion of patients experiencing CRF varies widely in the literature, but has generally been reported as affecting between $40–100% of those with cancer overall      . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a serious clinical problem and is one of the most common symptoms experienced by cancer patients. CRF has deleterious effects on many aspects of patient quality of lifeincluding their physical, psychological and social well-being. It can also limit their ability to function, socialise and participate in previously enjoyable activities. The aetiology of CRF is complex and multidimensional, involvingmany potentially contributing elements. These include tumour-related factors and comorbid medical/psychological conditions and also side effects associated with anti-cancer therapies or other medications. Barriers to the effective management of CRF exist both on the side of physicians and patients, and as a result CRF often remains unrecognised and undiscussedin clinical practice. A change of approach is required, where fatigue is treated as central to patient management during and after systemic anti-cancer treatment. In this review we summarise factors involved in the aetiology of CRF and the barriers to its effective management, as well as factors involved in the screening, diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients experiencing fatigue. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to its management are also reviewed. We suggest an algorithm for the process of managing CRF, guided by our experiences in The Netherlands, which we hope may provide a useful tool to healthcare professionals dealing with cancer patients in their daily practice. Although CRF is a serious and complex clinical problem, if it is worked through in a structured and comprehensive way, effective management has the potential to much improve patient quality of life.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Cancer Treatment Reviews
"In contrast, health-care professionals sometimes see fatigue as a diagnostically non-specific state (Sharpe & Wilks, 2002). Consequently, although fatigue has a major impact on daily life, it often goes unnoticed and underdiagnosed (Payne, Wiffen, & Martin, 2012). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fatigue has been found to be the most frequent and bothersome symptom after myocardial infarction (MI), influencing health-related quality of life negatively. Moreover, fatigue after MI has been described as incomprehensible due to its unpredictable occurrence and lack of relationship to physical effort. The aim of this study is therefore to explore persons' experiences of consequences of fatigue and their strategies for dealing with it 2 months after MI. In total, 18 informants, aged 42-75 years, participated in the study. Interviews were conducted and analysed using constructivist grounded theory methodology. Grounded in the data, the main consequence of fatigue, as illustrated in the core category, was: I've lost the person I used to be. It indicates a sense of reduced ability to manage daily life due to experiences of fatigue. The core category was developed from the four categories: involuntary thoughts, certainties replaced with question marks, driving with the handbrake on and just being is enough. Furthermore, attempts to relieve fatigue were limited. These findings indicate that patients with symptoms of fatigue should be supported in developing relief strategies, for example, rest and sleep hygiene as well as physical activity. In conclusion, the results show that fatigue can be understood in light of the concepts "comprehensibility" and "manageability." They also indicate that, working from a person-centered perspective, health-care professionals can support patients experiencing post-MI fatigue by giving them opportunities to straighten out the question marks and by inviting them to discuss involuntary thoughts and feelings of being restricted in their daily life functioning.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being