Background: Fatigue among patients with cancer is prevalent, disabling, and treatable. While fatigue management guidelines have been in place for a decade, their use remains unclear. Methods: We surveyed 160 patients with stage IV lung (40), breast (40), colon (40), and prostate (40) cancer who reported moderate to severe fatigue (i.e., >5 of 10 on an 11-point numerical rating scale). Participants were queried about receipt of treatments in fatigue management domains emphasized in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines: general management strategies, activity enhancement, psychosocial strategies, and pharmaceuticals. Results: The cohort was half male, had a mean age of 67, and reported an average fatigue rating of 6.4. Participants reported treatment or receipt of specific guidance in the fatigue management domains as follows: general management strategies 16.8 %, activity enhancement 11.9 %, psychosocial strategies 9.9 %, and pharmaceuticals 37.3 %. Fatigue >7 of 10 increased the likelihood of instruction in activity enhancement but no other domain. Conclusion: The low rates of guideline-congruent treatment reported here are concerning, particularly as better validated behavioral treatments were the least prescribed.
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network
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