Medline: 10699536

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 19(2): 91-99, 2000.

Fatigue and psychiatric morbidity among Hodgkin's disease survivors.

Loge JH, Abrahamsen AF, Ekeberg, et al.


Fatigue is prevalent among cancer patients, including Hodgkin's disease survivors (HDS). Fatigue is poorly understood, and the clinical management is consequently difficult. This cross-sectional study examined how fatigue related to psychiatric morbidity among 457 HDS (aged 19-74 years, 56% males) treated during the period 1971-1991. The subjects were mailed a questionnaire including the Fatigue Questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and measures of previous psychiatric problems. Fatigue correlated moderately with anxiety and depression (r = 0.44 and 0.41 respectively). Twenty-six percent of the HDS had substantial fatigue for 6 months or longer (=cases). They had higher levels of anxiety (mean 7.3, 95% CI 6.4-8.1) and depression (mean 4.5, 95% CI 3.8-5.2) than the non-cases (anxiety: mean 4.3, 95% CI 3.9-4.7; depression: mean 2.1, 95% CI 1.8-2.5). Past psychiatric problems were not reported more commonly among the fatigue cases than among the non-cases. A multiple logistic regression analysis identified age (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02-1.06), anxiety (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.2-1.3), and no self-reported psychiatric symptoms during treatment (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.3-4.2) as predictors of fatigue caseness. One-half of the fatigue cases among HDS have psychological distress that might respond to treatment. Chronic fatigue among HDS is not predicted by previous psychiatric problems.

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Dr. G. Quade