Fatigue in 7- to 12-year-old patients with cancer from the staff perspective: an exploratory study.
OBJECTIVE: To document and analyze the perspectives of staff members who provide direct care to 7- to 12-year-old patients with cancer regarding the nature and characteristics of fatigue, causes of fatigue, and effective interventions for this population of young patients. METHODS: A pediatric oncology unit at a children's hospital in the southwest and a pediatric research center for childhood catastrophic diseases in the mid-south. METHODS: A convenience sample of 38 staff members (8 advanced practice nurses, 23 staff nurses, 2 nurses managers, 3 nutritionists, 1 chaplain, and 1 physician) whose experience in pediatric oncology ranged from two months to 23 years. METHODS: Nine open-ended questions were posed to staff members during focus group sessions. Staff responses were analyzed using content analysis techniques and the Wilson concept analysis technique. METHODS: Staff perceptions of fatigue in 7- to 12-year-old patients with cancer. RESULTS: Fatigue is a state of diminished to complete loss of energy or will that is influenced by environmental, biochemical, personal, cultural, and treatment-related factors. This state, which may be acute, episodic, or chronic, can be accompanied by a changing emotional or mental state. CONCLUSIONS: Staff perceive fatigue to be a debilitating symptom for these children. When attempting to determine the presence or absence of fatigue, staff primarily compare a child's current state with his or her previous state rather than that of other children. Staff see themselves as having a role in causing and alleviating fatigue in this patient group. CONCLUSIONS: Staff can use these findings to help them identify the presence of fatigue in these children and to identify contributing and alleviating factors.
Hinds, PS; Hockenberry Eaton, M; Quargnenti, A; May, M; Burleson, C; Gilger, E; Randall, E; Brace Oneill, J
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