Medline: 2013047

Cancer Nursing 14(1): 13-19, 1991.

Fatigue in cancer patients: a descriptive study.

Pickard-Holley S


The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between fatigue and various physical and psychological factors in women undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. The Rhoten Fatigue Scale (RFS) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were used to evaluate levels of fatigue and depression in the patient sample. The sample was composed of 12 adult ovarian cancer patients who were receiving chemotherapy and 12 apparently healthy adult women. The patients' responses to the instruments used in this study indicated no significant relationship between fatigue and age, stage of disease, course of treatment, or depression. Weak-to-moderate relationships were found between levels of fatigue and CA 125 levels. A moderately strong (r = 0.68, p less than 0.01) relationship was found between ratings on the RFS and fatigue items on the BDI. A fatigue trajectory was found to peak at day 7 and to slowly decline during the remainder of the 28-day treatment course.

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