Psychosocial and clinical associations of Fatigue Severity and Fatigue-related Impairment in Kidney Transplant Recipients

Imogen Sands, Federica Picariello, Hannah Maple, Joseph Chilcot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Debilitating fatigue is common in people living with kidney disease and often persists after a kidney transplant. Current understanding of fatigue is centered around pathophysiological processes. Little is known about the role of cognitive and behavioral factors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the contribution of these factors to fatigue among kidney transplant recipients (KTRs). A cross-sectional study of 174 adult KTRs who completed online measures of fatigue, distress, illness perceptions, and cognitive and behavioral responses to fatigue. Sociodemographic and illness-related information was also collected. 63.2% of KTRs experienced clinically significant fatigue. Sociodemographic and clinical factors explained 16.1% and 31.2% of the variance in the fatigue severity and fatigue impairment, respectively, increasing by 28% and 26.8% after adding distress. In adjusted models, all the cognitive and behavioral factors except for illness perceptions were positively associated with increased fatigue-related impairment, but not severity. Embarrassment avoidance emerged as a key cognition. In conclusion, fatigue is common following kidney transplantation and associated with distress and cognitive and behavioral responses to symptoms, particularly embarrassment avoidance. Given the commonality and impact of fatigue in KTRs, treatment is a clinical need. Psychological interventions targeting distress and specific beliefs and behaviors related to fatigue may be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-163
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioral Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date20 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2024


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