A review of fatigue in people with HIV infection.
Fatigue is often cited by clinicians as a debilitating symptom suffered by the many who are infected with HIV. This article provides a review of HIV-related fatigue, including research on possible physiological causes such as anemia, CD4 count, impaired liver function, impaired thyroid function, and cortisol abnormalities. Psychological causes of fatigue, particularly depression, are reviewed as well. Measurement issues, such as the use of inappropriate tools, the problem of measuring the presence or absence of fatigue, and the use of tools developed for other groups of patients, are reviewed. The need for a comprehensive fatigue tool that is appropriate for people with HIV is discussed. Current treatment research, including thyroid replacement, hyperbaric oxygen, and dextroamphetamine, is presented. Finally, the implications for further research, including the need for qualitative studies to learn more about the phenomenon, develop an instrument to measure fatigue, and examine variables together to get a complete picture of this complex concept, are reviewed.
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