Does the association between fatigue and fatigue self-management preference vary by breast cancer stage?

Min Kyeong Jang, Chang Park, Keon Suk Lee, Kyung Hi Lee, Eun Kyung Hwang, Hye Jin Joh, Kyung Hee Lim, Yun Hee Ko, Dong Mi Kim, Jeehee Han, Sue Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a major issue facing breast cancer survivors (BCS) that can negatively impact their symptoms and quality of life. Objectives: The aims of this study were to examine levels of fatigue, identify preferred types of fatigue self-management, and explore the relationship between fatigue levels and management choices by cancer stage. Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study included 229 BCS recruited from 5 hospitals in Korea. The study inclusion criteria were limited to BCS between 20 and 69 years old in stages 1, 2, or 3 who were undergoing or had completed active therapy. The Revised Piper Fatigue Scale and a questionnaire developed for fatigue management were used for data collection. Results: The stage 2 group experienced more fatigue (mean, 5.31) than the other cancer stage groups, and significant differences in fatigue were found between stages 1 and 2 (P < .001). Fatigue self-management choices showed different correlations with fatigue levels in each stage. Physical activity control was most frequently used in stage 1, whereas exercise was most frequently used in stages 2 and 3. Multivariate regression analysis showed that exercise consistently and effectively decreased all fatigue dimensions. Conclusion: Stage 2 BCS experienced the greatest level of CRF, and fatigue levels and management choices differed in BCS by cancer stage. Implications for Practice: Recognizing how CRF and patients' preferences for fatigue self-management may differ by cancer stage can alert clinicians in assessing CRF and tailoring effective fatigue management for BCS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 9

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


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