Fatigue and weakness in cancer patients: The symptom experience

Lillian M. Nail, Maryl L. Winningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Objectives: To distinguish between fatigue and weakness and review symptom management for both and to suggest directions for research and practice. Data sources: Articles and book chapters pertaining to fatigue and weakness. Conclusions: Fatigue and weakness are important but long-neglected symptoms, and comparatively little effort has been invested in developing techniques to mitigate these symptoms. Research is needed to differentiate between these concepts, to determine the relation between fatigue and weakness, to delineate their causes, and to develop interventions aimed at the prevention and treatment of these symptoms. Implications for nursing practice: Early assessment of risk factors, mobility and sensory problems, and usual level of activity will help identify those patients who may benefit from nursing interventions or referrals for occupational or physical therapy. It is important to repeatedly evaluate these symptoms in relation to treatment, situational changes, interventions used to manage other symptoms, and tumor progression. Developing clinical guidelines and intervention strategies will contribute greatly to the functional independence and the quality of life of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-278
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in oncology nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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