Conducting routine fatigue assessments for use in clinical oncology practice: Patient and provider perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Goals of work: Fatigue is the most common symptom associated with cancer and its treatment. The present study measured patient and provider perceptions of the feasibility and acceptability of conducting computerized fatigue assessments during routine follow-up outpatient clinic visits. Materials and methods: A subset of 64 patients from a larger study, testing items for inclusion in a fatigue item bank, completed two computerized fatigue assessments at 2- to 3-month intervals. After the second assessment, patients completed a questionnaire about the usefulness of the assessments and the understandability of graphic reports depicting the fatigue scores. They were also asked about the optimal frequency for conducting fatigue assessments. Providers were asked similar feasibility questions. Main results: Providers thought displays of fatigue scores would be more useful than patients did. Patients and providers also differed on the frequency with which fatigue assessments should be conducted. Interestingly, of the 37% of patients who reported that assessments should be conducted at a different frequency than the choices that were offered, 50% reported that the assessments should be conducted according to their treatment schedule. The majority of providers thought fatigue assessments should be administered at each MD visit. Conclusion: Patients and providers differed about the perceived usefulness of displaying fatigue scores and the frequency with which routine assessments should be conducted. However, both patients and providers appeared to endorse the notion that routine assessments would be beneficial. Integration of routine assessments of commonly experienced symptoms such as fatigue may have important implications for improving symptom management in the future, ultimately resulting in better overall patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-386
Number of pages8
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Computerized symptom assessment
  • Fatigue
  • Symptom management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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