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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Patterns of Fatigue in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

  • Author(s): Chyall, Lawrence Henry
  • Advisor(s): Carrieri-Kohlman, Virginia
  • et al.

Purpose:To describe the patterns of fatigue and the symptom/well being and physical/physiological correlates of fatigue over one year in patients with COPD.

Patients and Methods:Secondary analysis of data from a prospective, randomized, single-blind study to evaluate the effect of three different doses of supervised exercise in a dyspnea self -management program in patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (N = 103; age 66 ± 8, females 57; FEV1 44.8% ± 14% predicted).

Results:Mean fatigue was stable at the measurement times during the course of the study. Four patterns of fatigue were identified "stable" (n=29), "improving/stable" (n=28), "worsening/stable" (n=18) and "labile" (n=4). Fatigue was moderately correlated with dyspnea, depressive and anxious symptoms, and reduced quality of life. Fatigue was mildly correlated with reduced exercise performance.

Conclusions:Mean fatigue is not a sufficient measure of fatigue over time in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Subgroup analysis may be necessary to understand fatigue in this population.

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