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Assessment and management of fatigue in life-limiting illness
  1. Laura Middleton-Green, Staff Nurse
  1. Laura Middleton-Green is Staff Nurse, Manorlands Hospice, Oxenhope, West Yorkshire. Email: Laura.Middleton-Green{at}bradford.nhs.uk

Abstract

Fatigue is a complex symptom commonly experienced by people with life-limiting illnesses. It has been identified in patients with, for example, cancer, heart failure, respiratory conditions, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and renal failure. It is often rated by patients as having a greater effect on quality of life than pain. This article will explore the manifestations and consequences of fatigue. It will propose a minimum standard for its assessment and management and describe the implementation and evaluation of an audit, conducted in a hospice environment, designed to evaluate achievement of this standard. Although this audit was carried out in a hospice setting, the aim of the article is also to raise awareness of fatigue in all healthcare settings and to improve the assessment of this debilitating symptom. Conflicts of interest: none

  • Audit
  • Fatigue
  • Palliative care
  • Symptom management

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