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The experience of fatigue among elderly women with chronic heart failure.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Omvårdnad.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Omvårdnad.
2008 (English)In: European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, ISSN 1474-5151, E-ISSN 1873-1953, Vol. 7, no 4, 290-295 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Fatigue is a common and distressing symptom in chronic heart failure (CHF). Most of the current methods for evaluating patients' symptoms fail to consider the meaning or importance that these symptoms have for the patient. AIM: To illuminate the lived experience of fatigue among elderly women with CHF. METHOD: Narrative interviews were conducted with 10 women with CHF, aged 73-89 years. Interviews were analysed with qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: The findings are presented in two themes and five subthemes. The first theme, 'living with the loss of physical energy', was based on three subthemes describing the experience of fatigue: 'experiencing a substantial presence of feebleness and unfamiliar bodily sensations', 'experiencing unpredictable variations in physical ability', and 'needing help from others in daily life'. The second theme, 'striving for independence while being aware of deteriorating health', describes how the women managed their life situation; it was based on two subthemes: 'acknowledging one's remaining abilities', and 'being forced to adjust and struggle for independence'. CONCLUSIONS: Fatigue was experienced as loss of physical energy, leading to discrepancies between intention and capacity. The will to reduce dependency on others involved a daily struggle against fatigue.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 7, no 4, 290-295 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-19037DOI: 10.1016/j.ejcnurse.2007.12.004PubMedID: 18262844OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-19037DiVA: diva2:201207
Available from: 2009-03-03 Created: 2009-03-03 Last updated: 2017-12-13
In thesis
1. Man måste vila emellanåt: patienters självskattade och berättade erfarenheter av att leva med kronisk hjärtsvikt
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Man måste vila emellanåt: patienters självskattade och berättade erfarenheter av att leva med kronisk hjärtsvikt
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall purpose was to explore the experience of living with chronic heart failure among patients in primary healthcare. Comparisons were made between patients with confirmed heart failure (HF, n=49), patients with symptoms indicating HF but with no HF (NHF, n=59), and a reference group (n=40). The mean age was 77 years. Patients in the HF and NHF groups had more general and physical fatigue, more reduced activity, worse physical quality of life and higher degree of depression compared with the reference group. The HF group had also higher degree of physical fatigue and worse physical quality of life than the NHF group. When comparing degrees of depression between the three groups and adjusting for fatigue, the physical dimension of fatigue was of greater importance in explaining group differences. In the HF group general fatigue was more closely related to limitations in role functioning for physical reasons than to reduced physical function per se. Women experienced more fatigue than men. Narrative interviews were conducted with ten women with confirmed heart failure, aged 73-89 years, with special reference to fatigue. The findings were presented in two themes, ‘living with the loss of physical energy’, and ‘striving for independence while being aware of deteriorating health’. The conclusion in study IV was in accordance with the results in the quantitative studies, indicating that the experience of HF or symptoms similar to HF had the greatest impact on the physical dimensions of fatigue and health-related quality of life. From a clinical perspective the findings in this thesis emphasize the importance of careful investigation of each patients experienced problems. In particular symptoms of depression and different dimensions of fatigue need to be analysed. Interventions aimed at reducing fatigue needs to be developed, and its further impact on health-related quality of life should be investigated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Omvårdnad, 2007. 60 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1113
Keyword
Nursing, Omvårdnad, kronisk hjärtsvikt, livskvalitet, fatigue, depression, äldre
Research subject
Caring Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1322 (URN)978-91-7264-366-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-09-19, Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå Universitet, 901 87 Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-08-31 Created: 2007-08-31 Last updated: 2009-05-19Bibliographically approved

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