A multidimensional examination of correlates of fatigue during radiotherapy

Purcell, A., Fleming, J., Bennett, S., McGuane, K., Burmeister, B. and Haines, T. (2010) A multidimensional examination of correlates of fatigue during radiotherapy. Cancer, 116 2: 529-537. doi:10.1002/cncr.24731

Author Purcell, A.
Fleming, J.
Bennett, S.
McGuane, K.
Burmeister, B.
Haines, T.
Title A multidimensional examination of correlates of fatigue during radiotherapy
Journal name Cancer   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0008-543X
Publication date 2010-01-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/cncr.24731
Volume 116
Issue 2
Start page 529
End page 537
Total pages 9
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Language eng
Subject C1
110321 Rehabilitation and Therapy (excl. Physiotherapy)
920102 Cancer and Related Disorders
Formatted abstract
Cancer-related fatigue can be measured as both a unidimensional and a multidimensional construct. Unidimensional fatigue and its symptom correlates have undergone some previous investigation; however, minimal research has considered the differential effect of correlates on individual dimensions of fatigue. The objective of the current study was to investigate cancer-related fatigue in a radiotherapy sample using a multidimensional conceptualization to determine whether correlates of fatigue are consistent across all dimensions or whether each fatigue dimension has its own unique pattern of correlates.


The study used a prospective cohort design with data collected from radiotherapy patients at 3 time points; before, after, and 6 weeks after radiotherapy treatment.

A total of 210 participants were enrolled in the study. Results indicated the following relations. Increased general fatigue was found to be associated with lower performance status, being in a de facto relationship, depression, having treatment to the brain, and reduced vigorous physical activity. Increased physical fatigue was associated with lower performance status, depression, reduced physical activity, reduced productive hours, and nausea. Higher levels of reduced activity were associated with depression, decreased participation in activities of daily living, decreased number of productive hours, and lower performance status. Higher levels of reduced motivation were associated with radiotherapy to the brain, reduced moderate physical activity, and depression. Increased mental fatigue was associated with diagnosis of a brain tumor, anxiety, depression, and sleep problems.

The results of the current study support the recognition of multiple dimensions of fatigue, because each dimension examined had various correlates. These findings further develop our understanding of fatigue and may help clinicians provide more targeted information to people with cancer-related fatigue. Furthermore, these results can guide the development of group or individually tailored interventions that ultimately may reduce the impact of this distressing symptom on people with cancer.
Keyword Cancer
Multidimensional assessment
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 18 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 13 Apr 2010, 02:53:45 EST by Meredith Downes on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences