Breaking the vicious circle of fatigue in patients with chronic heart failure.
Fatigue is a common symptom in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Characteristics of the experience and consequences of fatigue might be unique in these patients. The authors interviewed 15 patients with CHF and analyzed focused online observations of the content discussed in an Internet patient discussion group concerning CHF using grounded theory. The results suggest that fatigue is a circular process in which the consequences of fatigue further exaggerate the experience. However, fatigue could be alleviated by restorative activities. The bodily experience of fatigue was defined as lacking strength and energy and feeling sleepy. Patients reported the mental aspects of fatigue as demoralizing and that they frequently experienced intellectual deficiency. Fatigue leads to sacrificing, which was manifested as refraining, denying oneself, and being isolated. The restoring activities included the categories involuntarily attentive, socially interactive, and mentally absorbed. Interventions aimed to relieve fatigue should focus on restorative activities.
Falk, K; Granger, BB; Swedberg, K; Ekman, I
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