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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 162-165

An evaluation of early-onset fatigue and the related coping strategies in patients with gastrointestinal cancer: A prospective pilot study

1 Department of Nursing, GI Unit, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vikas Ostwal
Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_568_17

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BACKGROUND: Cancer related fatigue (CRF) has been studied extensively and it has the worse impact as compared to pain on quality of life (QOL) of cancer patients. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Prospective study was conducted at Tata Memorial center in Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer patients to assess fatigue with FACIT and PIPER scales. This was also to assess qualitative data on coping strategies in these patients. RESULTS: Severe to moderate fatigue was commonly associated with sedentary to moderate activities (P = 0.049) whereas it was less common as education level increases (P = 0.031). Baseline pain was significantly associated with increase in fatigue (P = 0.033). This study also suggests that fatigue increases with as number of chemotherapy cycles increase. Qualitative data analysis revealed that majority of the patients used resting and energy conservation in the form of sitting, lying down. Most of them were following high protein diet (with or without supplementary protein powder) and little exercise such as walking. CONCLUSION: Patients with GI cancer receiving chemotherapy were found to have fatigue, which increased during the subsequent cycles. Patients with sedentary lifestyle and experiencing pain at baseline were found to have more fatigue. Coping strategies adopted by majority of patients were resting and a high-protein diet.


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