Institutional management of cancer-related fatigue: a comparison of clinical specialties.

Abstract

Fatigue is the most common symptom associated with cancer and its treatment and is now widely recognized as a significant problem for patients with cancer (Ream & Richardson 1999). As a result of the restructuring of cancer services, much of the care given to patients is delivered by a multitude of nurses across a spectrum of clinical settings. While some research, albeit minimal, has evaluated nurses' knowledge and attitudes of cancer-related fatigue in various clinical settings, factors associated with institutional management of fatigue and the support and encouragement given to nurses by institutions regarding cancer-related fatigue appears to be unexplored. Nurses were recruited from community, general medical, general surgical and oncology clinical settings. A postal questionnaire to evaluate institutional cancer-related fatigue management was administered. Data were analysed descriptively. Institutional management of fatigue is poor across the clinical specialties involved in this survey. Topics addressed were interdisciplinary working, documentation and standards, accountability, information giving, staff education and quality assurance initiatives. Little difference was detected across the clinical specialties for the majority of these issues. Although individual health professionals have a personal responsibility to ensure the care they provide addresses patients' needs appropriately, institutional support and direction is essential. It seems that health-care institutions have not recognized the importance of this issue. This unacceptable situation must be resolved to ensure all health professionals are supported by their institutions to make every effort to improve the management of this symptom for patients with cancer.

Cite this paper

@article{Miller2002InstitutionalMO, title={Institutional management of cancer-related fatigue: a comparison of clinical specialties.}, author={Morven I Miller and Nora Kearney}, journal={European journal of oncology nursing : the official journal of European Oncology Nursing Society}, year={2002}, volume={6 1}, pages={45-53} }