Richardson, Alison and Ream, Emma Kate
Self-care behaviours initiated by chemotherapy patients in response to fatigue.
International Journal of Nursing Studies, 34, (1), . (doi:10.1016/S0020-7489(96)00031-4).
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Patients receiving chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer frequently experience severe fatigue which is highly disruptive and distressing. Few studies have investigated the strategies which patients personally initiate to enable them to cope with this symptom. This paper reports the results derived from a study designed to monitor and describe patients' fatigue during chemotherapy and the self-care measures taken by them to ameliorate it. Data were collected from 109 subjects receiving different chemotherapy protocols using structured diaries. A variety of self-care behaviours were practised and these frequently included modifying or altering activity and rest patterns and employing strategies of a psychological nature. However, the self-care strategies initiated proved largely ineffective. This study indicates that common-sense measures often prove insufficient. Intervention studies are required to evaluate the best ways for health professionals to assist these patients to live with and adapt to fatigue
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