Publication

Is Fatigue a Disease-Specific or Generic Symptom in Chronic Medical Conditions?

Menting, J., Tack, C. J., Bleijenberg, G., Donders, R., Droogleever Fortuyn, H. A., Fransen, J., Goedendorp, M. M., Kalkman, J. S., Strik-Albers, R., van Alfen, N., van der Werf, S. P., Voermans, N. C., van Engelen, B. G. & Knoop, H. Jun-2018 In : Health Psychology. 37, 6, p. 530-543 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Juliane Menting
  • Cees J Tack
  • Gijs Bleijenberg
  • Rogier Donders
  • Hal A Droogleever Fortuyn
  • Jaap Fransen
  • Martine M Goedendorp
  • Joke S Kalkman
  • Riet Strik-Albers
  • Nens van Alfen
  • Sieberen P van der Werf
  • Nicol C Voermans
  • Baziel G van Engelen
  • Hans Knoop

OBJECTIVE: Severe fatigue is highly prevalent in various chronic diseases. Disease-specific fatigue models have been developed, but it is possible that fatigue-related factors in these models are similar across diseases. The purpose of the current study was to determine the amount of variance in fatigue severity explained by: (a) the specific disease, (b) factors associated with fatigue across different chronic diseases (transdiagnostic factors), and (c) the interactions between these factors and specific diseases.

METHOD: Data from 15 studies that included 1696 patients with common chronic diseases and disorders that cause long-term disabilities were analyzed. Linear regression analysis with the generalized least-squares technique was used to determine fatigue-related factors associated with fatigue severity, that is, demographic variables, health-related symptoms and psychosocial variables.

RESULTS: Type of chronic disease explained 11% of the variance noted in fatigue severity. The explained variance increased to 55% when the transdiagnostic factors were added to the model. These factors were female sex, age, motivational and concentration problems, pain, sleep disturbances, physical functioning, reduced activity and lower self-efficacy concerning fatigue. The predicted variance increased to 61% when interaction terms were added. Analysis of the interactions revealed that the relationship between fatigue severity and relevant predictors mainly differed in strength, not in direction.

CONCLUSIONS: Fatigue severity can largely be explained by transdiagnostic factors; the associations vary between chronic diseases in strength and significance. This suggests that severely fatigued patients with different chronic diseases can probably benefit from a transdiagnostic fatigue-approach which focuses on individual patient needs rather than a specific disease. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-543
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume37
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun-2018

    Keywords

  • chronic disease, fatigue, health-related factors, psychosocial factors, transdiagnostic approach, RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL, COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY, MULTIPLE-SCLEROSIS FATIGUE, RHEUMATOID-ARTHRITIS, HIGHLY PREVALENT, MODEL, PREDICTORS, DISABILITY, DISORDERS, STROKE

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