Review article: description and management of fatigue in inflammatory bowel disease

W. Czuber-Dochan*, E. Ream, Christine Norton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
Fatigue is a common and leading concern for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is managed inadequately in IBD, and there is little evidence to support interventions.

Aim
To examine patients’ experience of and factors contributing to IBD-fatigue, and to appraise its management by patients and healthcare professionals.

Methods
Seven electronic databases were searched. Subject headings and free-text searching were used, with no time limit set. Reference lists of retrieved papers were searched manually.

Results
Twenty-eight papers were reviewed. Researchers used terms including ‘fatigue’, ‘low energy’, ‘tiredness’, ‘decline in vitality and vigour’ and ‘reduced energy and vitality’. Different definitions were used to conceptualise fatigue. None of the reviewed studies asked patients to describe the experience of fatigue in their own words. Numerous physical, psychological and situational factors associated with fatigue were identified. Three small randomised control trials reported a favourable effect of infliximab and adalimumab on fatigue. One intervention study reported benefit from a stress management programme and one from solution-focused therapy.

Conclusions
Inconsistent use of terminology, lack of data from patients’ perspective on inflammatory bowel disease-fatigue and lack of evidence to support its management contribute to fatigue being largely ignored or overlooked by healthcare professionals. Future research should explore the experience of IBD-fatigue from the individual patient perspective. Further studies are required to fully explore the factors associated with fatigue and to develop patient-centred interventions to reduce fatigue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-516
Number of pages12
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume37
Issue number5
Early online date13 Jan 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Keywords

  • ULCERATIVE-COLITIS
  • CANCER-RELATED FATIGUE
  • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
  • CHRONIC ILLNESS
  • CROHNS-DISEASE
  • MULTIPLE-SCLEROSIS
  • DEPRESSION
  • HEALTH-RELATED QUALITY
  • HIGH PREVALENCE
  • RHEUMATOID-ARTHRITIS

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