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Fatigue in relatives of palliative patients.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences.
2009 (English)In: Palliative & Supportive Care, ISSN 1478-9515, E-ISSN 1478-9523, Vol. 7, no 2, 207-211 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


The relatives’ burdens in palliative care are considerable and may cause fatigue. The overall aim of this study was to gain a greater understanding of fatigue in relatives of patients cared for in palliative care settings.


This study has a descriptive, comparative, and cross-sectional design. The sample consisted of relatives of all patients cared for in palliative care settings in Uppsala County during a specific day. Relatives completed a questionnaire consisting of the Multidimensional Fatique Inventory (MFI-20) and questions from the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) and Karolinska Sleep questionnaire (KSQ).


Relatives (n ¼ 56) scored high on every dimension on the MFI-20 scale. Two significant negative correlations were found to exist between age and fatigue, with younger relatives reportingmoremental fatigue ( p , .01) and more reduced activity ( p , .01) than older relatives. Relatives of patients in institutional care had higher values concerning mental fatigue ( p , .01) and reduced motivation ( p , .05). Relatives of mostly bedridden patients were significantly more tired but did not have significantly less motivation than relatives of mostly ambulatory patients.

Significance of results

The findings imply that fatigue is highly prevalent in relatives of patients in palliative care. The sample in this study scored higher in comparison with norm values and also in comparison with relatives of patients with end-stage renal disease. Their scores were similar to those of cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 7, no 2, 207-211 p.
Keyword [en]
Relatives, fatigue, palliative care settings
National Category
Research subject
Caring Sciences in Medical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107584DOI: 10.1017/S1478951509000261PubMedID: 19538803OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-107584DiVA: diva2:231964
Available from: 2009-10-16 Created: 2009-08-18 Last updated: 2011-08-19Bibliographically approved

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Carlsson, Maria E.
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