Chemotherapy-related fatigue in childhood cancer: correlates, consequences, and coping strategies.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of pediatric oncology nursing : official journal of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses, Volume 25, Issue 2, p.86-96 (2008)


2008, Adaptation, Psychological, Antineoplastic Agents, Center-Authored Paper, Child, Clinical Research Division, Fatigue, Humans, Neoplasms, Parents, Questionnaires


The aim of this research is to examine the experience and impact of chemotherapy-related fatigue in recently diagnosed pediatric oncology patients. A repeated-measures, within-subjects, mixed (quantitative plus qualitative) design was used to prospectively assess fatigue during early chemotherapy cycles and to compare fatigue to depressive symptoms. Parental interviews collected concurrently were analyzed for descriptions of the child's fatigue and mood states and for strategies to cope with fatigue. Results indicated a significant correlation between fatigue and depression, but qualitative analyses suggested that the 2 phenomena may be unique and distinguishable. Qualitative analyses of parent interviews also identified specific strategies that were frequently used in response to high levels of fatigue. The findings illustrate the significant impact of chemotherapy-related fatigue in children being treated for cancer. The study also provides guidance for the assessment of fatigue and related symptoms and identifies specific strategies for coping with fatigue.