The Oncologist 5(suppl 2): 9-12, 2000.
Fatigue is a complex, multifactorial disorder with physical, mental, and psychological dimensions that has been associated with diminished quality of life (QOL) in patients with cancer. The prevalence and severity of fatigue, however, has only recently been studied systematically. Two national surveys commissioned by The Fatigue Coalition, a multidisciplinary group of medical practitioners, researchers, and patient advocates, whose mission is to study the importance of fatigue for patients with cancer and their caregivers, have assessed the prevalence, severity, and QOL consequences of fatigue in patients with cancer. The most recent survey, initiated in 1998, sought to confirm and extend observations on the prevalence and impact of fatigue in patients with cancer as part of an initiative to develop guidelines for the differential diagnosis and treatment of fatigue. The FATIGUE 2 study probed the emotional, social, physical, and economic impact of fatigue on patients with cancer and their caregivers. Patient perceptions of the professional response to cancer-related fatigue were also assessed. The key findings of these surveys are reviewed.
Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms- Universität Bonn