Evaluation and Management of Fatigue in Oncology: A Multidimensional Approach

Department of Medical Oncology, National Institute of Oncology, Rabat, Morocco.
Indian Journal of Palliative Care 05/2011; 17(2):92-7. DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.84528
Source: PubMed


Fatigue, one of the most common symptoms experienced by cancer patients, is multidimensional and is associated with significant impairment in functioning and overall quality of life. Although the precise pathophysiology of cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is not well understood, a number of metabolic, cytokine, neurophysiologic, and endocrine changes have been described in these patients. A better understanding of these abnormalities is likely to lead to novel therapeutic interventions. Clinically, all patients presenting with significant fatigue should be evaluated for treatable conditions that might contribute to this symptom. Exercise and treatment of anemia are the two most established interventions for CRF. Psychostimulants seem promising based on early studies. Several complementary medicine treatments that showed efficacy in preliminary studies merit further testing.

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    • "People with cancer often characterize CRF as a lack of energy, weakness, muscle heaviness, inability to recover from physical activity in a timely manner, the need for exaggerated effort to complete a task, or the need for greater rest periods once a task is complete (Cheville, 2009; Hofman et al., 2007; Mitchell & Berger, 2011). Not only is CRF one of the most prevalent of cancer symptoms, it is also one of the most distressing, often negatively affecting multiple HRQOL domains (Barsevick, Frost, Zwinderman, Hall, & Halyard, 2010; El Tazi & Errihani, 2011; Ryan et al., 2007). CRF is poorly understood, having an unknown etiology and lacking a clear, single, clinical definition . "
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    ABSTRACT: Indian Journal of Palliative Care (IJPC) provides a comprehensive multidisciplinary evidence base for an evidence-informed clinical decision making. To analyze the levels of evidence of articles published in IJPC in the years 2010-2011. Systematic review of palliative care journals. Systematic review of articles was done and was scored according to Center for Evidence-Based Medicine levels of evidence into any of the five grades. The articles were categorized based upon article type, number of authors, study approach, age focus, population focus, disease focus, goals of care, domains of care, models of care, and year of publication. All descriptive analysis was done using frequencies and percentiles, and association between all categorical variables was done using Chi-square test at 95% confidence interval (CI) using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16 for Windows (SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL). There was a greater prevalence of low level evidence (level 4: n = 46, 51%; level 5: n = 35, 39%) among the 90 selected articles, and article type (original articles with higher level of evidence, P = 0.000), article approach (analytical studies with higher level of evidence, P = 0.000), domains of palliative care (practice-related studies with higher level of evidence, P = 0.000) and models of care (biological or psychosocial model with higher level of evidence, P = 0.044) had a significant association with the grade of levels of evidence. Association with other factors was not statistically significant (P < 0.05). The levels of research evidence for palliative care provided by articles published in IJPC were predominantly level 4 and level 5, and there is scope for more high quality evidence to inform palliative care decisions in the developing countries.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Indian Journal of Palliative Care