Patient-related barriers to fatigue communication in cancer patients receiving active treatment

Shiow Ching Shun*, Yeur Hur Lai, Fei Hsiu Hsiao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. To explore barriers to reporting fatigue in cancer patients receiving active treatment and the significant factors associated with those barriers from fatigue characteristics (i.e., intensity, duration, and interference with daily life), to demographic characteristics and disease/treatment variables. Methods. Patients with various types of cancer (n = 288) were recruited from an outpatient chemotherapy center, and from seven oncology and hematology units in a teaching hospital in northern Taiwan. Data were collected using the Fatigue Management Barriers Questionnaire to explore barriers to fatigue communication. Results. Fear of distracting the doctor was rated as the highest barrier of reporting fatigue. The degree of fatigue interference with daily life by patients was associated with the willingness to report fatigue. Patients with gastrointestinal cancer experienced more barriers to reporting fatigue than those with hematological cancer. Patients without religion perceived the highest level of barriers to fatigue communication. Outpatients had higher levels of concern than inpatients. Conclusions. Discussion with patients about their high level of perceived fatigue barriers before implementing patient education is recommended. Assessing fatigue interference with daily life and identifying factors associated with barriers to reporting fatigue (i.e., type of cancer, religion, and the setting for receiving treatment) are suggested in order to provide better fatigue management in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)936-943
Number of pages8
JournalOncologist
Volume14
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Keywords

  • Active treatment
  • Barriers
  • Cancer
  • Fatigue

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