Br J Nurs. 2003 Oct 9-22;12(18):1075-80
Ward N, Winters S.
University of Central England, Birmingham, UK.
Fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex symptom that is notoriously difficult to treat, not least because it is extremely subjective and is experienced differently by each patient.
Owing to the prevalence of this symptom, most patients with MS who are seen in outpatient settings complain of fatigue and experience the disabling effect it can have upon day-to-day living.
Managing and treating this symptom is a challenge, although there is some evidence that applying fatigue management principles can potentially reduce the debilitating effect fatigue has on patients (Welham, 1995).
This article reviews the evidence base surrounding the management and treatment of fatigue that is applied in clinical practice.
It describes the fatigue management programme that had been introduced for people with MS at the authors' workplace, and evaluated whether applying fatigue management principles can make a difference to people's ability to self-care.
The effect this symptom has upon people's quality of life will also be explored.