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Assessment of clinical relevant fatigue level in cancer

Abstract

Goals of work

Fatigue is highly prevalent in cancer and greatly inferences with daily life. The goal of this study was to identify the most informative score in the Brief Fatigue Inventory and to define cut points for “mild,” “moderate,” and “severe” fatigue based on their relevance to quality of life (QOL).

Patients and methods

We surveyed cancer patients at five hospitals in Korea with self-administrated questionnaires. The patients were older than 18 years, have a histological diagnosis of malignancy, gave informed consent to participate, and were able to understand the questionnaires. We analyzed 150 cancer patients who reported fatigue.

Main result

“Usual fatigue” was a sensitive and reliable indicator of fatigue severity and was defined as mild (1–3), moderate (4–7), or severe (8–10) because it had the strongest correlation with the functional interference, symptoms, depression, and QOL.

Conclusion

These cutpoints might be useful in clinical evaluation of fatigue in cancer. Our findings suggest a simple technique for the rapid screening of fatigue and for evaluating its impact on the symptoms and daily functioning of cancer patients.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the National Cancer Center Grant 0110030-3. The authors thank the cancer patients and the control group members who cooperated so willingly.

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Correspondence to Young Ho Yun.

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Chang, Y.J., Lee, J.S., Lee, C.G. et al. Assessment of clinical relevant fatigue level in cancer. Support Care Cancer 15, 891–896 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-007-0219-x

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Keywords

  • Fatigue severity
  • Cancer fatigue
  • Functional interference