Folia Medica 62(4): 679-689, doi: 10.3897/folmed.62.e50517
Cancer-related Fatigue in Patients with Oncological Diseases: Causes, Prevalence, Guidelines for Assessment and Management
expand article infoRaisa Strebkova
‡ Trakia University, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
Open Access

Fatigue and exhaustion are considered to be the most common complaints of patients with cancer during treatment and upon its completion. The manifestations of fatigue can be physical, cognitive, and emotional. The exact determinants of fatigue, however, are yet unknown. An initial literature review was conducted. Four reference databases were searched (MEDLINE, ELSEVIER – Science Direct, ELSEVIER – SCOPUS, Springer). The initial search yielded 430 articles. We included references consistent with the study design, pub-lished between 1993 and 2017, and written in English or German. The 48 remaining articles were assessed for relevance to the area by visually examining their titles for keywords: cancer-related fatigue, assesment, management. Cancer-related fatigue in cancer patients during treatment and in survivors is estimated to have a prevalence in the range of 58% to 90%. This report is a review of the literature relevant to the problem of fatigue in patients with oncological diseases – causes, prevalence, and impact on the lives of affected patients, proposing guidelines for assessment and management. A set of reliable tools have been presented for assessment and measurement of the burden of fatigue. The management strategies include a number of non-pharmacological methods: physically based therapies, psycho-educational and mind-body interventions, methods of managing sleep disorders, methods of increasing physical activity, and pharmacological modalities. Clarification of the causes for fatigue, its detection, a reliable assessment of its severity, the application of appropriate interventions for treatment and the necessary care could support the application of a differentiated approach.

assesment, cancer-related fatigue, management, prevalence