Purpose/Objectives: To evaluate the acceptability and efficacy of a rehabilitation group intervention for people with cancer experiencing cancer-related fatigue (CRF) and examine the effects of the program on CRF distress. quality of life (QOL), and depression.
Design: Prospective, pre-/post-test intervention.
Setting: An outpatient area of a 551 -bed tertiary-care community hospital in the southeastern United States.
Sample: 20 participants have completed the program in four different groups. The preliminary mean age was 63.6 (range = 38-86). These participants had six different types of cancers, and 15 patients were receiving some form of cancer therapy during their participation in the program.
Methods: After providing informed consent participants completed the Cancer-Related Fatigue Distress Scale, the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression, the Functional Living Index-Cancer, and a demographic Information form. The intervention consists of eight weekly, 90-minute sessions with educational and sharing components. At the eighth session, participants were asked to complete the three instruments plus a program evaluation.
Main Research Variables: CRF distress, depression, QOL.
Findings: Preliminary results indicate that the program provided information, support, and management strategies for CRF. The mean for the program evaluations overall was 9.8 (0-10 scale, range = 9-10). Statistically significant differences were found for pre- and post-test fatigue distress and QOL scores.
Conclusions: Preliminary findings indicate that this intervention is appropriate and beneficial for patients with cancer experiencing fatigue, even for those patients who are very debilitated.
Implications for Nursing Practice: The program can be used as a rehabilitation program to help people with cancer to manage the sequelae of their illness and treatments.