I am so tired of being tired: – a focus group study of fatigue in RA
2011 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
BakgrundFatigue is a prominent symptom in persons with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)and has great impact of daily life. The knowledge about how persons with RA in working age are affected by fatigue is limited. The aim of this study was to describe how persons with RA in working age experience and handle their fatigue in everyday life.MetodSix focus group discussions were conducted in 25 persons with RA (19 women/ 6 men) age 20-60 years. The discussions were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed according to qualitative content analysis which resulted in four categories: The nature of fatigue in RA, limitations due to the fatigue, communicating the fatigue and strategies to handle the fatigue.ResultatThe participants experienced their fatigue as a major symptom. Because of its persistence and unpredictable nature it caused feelings of frustration, helplessness and anger. The increased need for rest and sleep caused an imbalance in daily life when valued life activities were forced to be omitted in favor of work. They were feeling limited in everyday life when the fatigue made it impossible to fulfill their roles as expected by themselves and by others. The participants expressed difficulties in communicating about the fatigue and to gain acceptance from the social environment including family, friends and health professionals. They adjusted to whom they were talking to about their fatigue to avoid being seen as lazy, boring or whining. To handle the fatigue in everyday life, planning and prioritizing to find balance was essential. The respondents also used mental strategies to handle the fatigue such as accepting the fatigue and focusing on the possibilities.SammanfattningFatigue causes considerable consequences in persons with RA in working age, living an active life and rating a low general disability. The responsibility for managing fatigue and the struggle of finding balance between important parts in life was taken by the participants themselves because fatigue was not perceived to be a factor given much consideration during medical consultation. This draws attention to the importance for health professionals to address the fatigue and its complexity and unpredictability, even in working persons with low disability.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-97492OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-97492DiVA: diva2:648008
Medicinska riksstämman, Stockholm, 30 november - 2 december 2011