Measurement of Fatigue in People With Cancer

Horng-Shiuann Wu

Maryellen McSweeney

cancer-related fatigue, quality of life

Purpose/Objectives: To evaluate the quality of existing instruments measuring cancer-related fatigue (CRF).

Data Sources: Nursing and medical literature.

Data Synthesis: Although fatigue is highly prevalent among patients with cancer and adversely affects their quality of life, CRF often is unrecognized and untreated. The instruments available to measure CRF have numerous limitations. Many have been generated from investigators' observations, not actual experiences described by patients. Others operationalize different definitions of fatigue or differ in dimensionality, which leads to limited reliability and validity testing.

Conclusions: All of the instruments in this review need further study of their psychometric properties. Qualitative studies of CRF from the patients' perspective are needed to develop better instruments.

Implications for Nursing Practice: Nurses need to increase their knowledge of assessing CRF to intervene and improve the quality of life for patients with cancer.

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