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Article

The Relationship of Fatigue and Meaning in Life in Breast Cancer Survivors

Paige Thompson
ONF 2007, 34(3), 653-660 DOI: 10.1188/07.ONF.653-660

Purpose/Objectives: To determine relationships among (a) cancer-related fatigue and meaning in life, (b) overall symptom distress and meaning in life, (c) fatigue and performance, and (d) overall symptom distress and performance in breast cancer survivors.

Design: Cross-sectional and correlational.

Setting: Community-based setting in eastern Pennsylvania.

Sample: 34 women who had completed their last treatment for breast cancer within the prior 16 months.

Methods: Data were collected using the Piper Fatigue Scale (PFS), Life Attitude Profile-Revised (LAP-R), Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale-Short Form (MSAS-SF), and Medical Outcomes Study-Short Form 36 (SF-36).

Main Research Variables: Fatigue and meaning in life.

Findings: One moderate negative correlation was found between the PFS sensory subscale and the choice or responsibleness dimension of the LAP-R. Significant moderate to strong negative correlations were found between the MSAS-SF total score and two subscale scores and the existential transcendence dimension of the LAP-R. Significant moderate to strong negative correlations were found between four subscales of the SF-36 representing performance and the MSAS-SF total score.

Conclusions: Meaning in life may influence fatigue and overall symptoms in breast cancer survivors.

Implications for Nursing: Assessment of meaning in life may be important in the management of fatigue and overall symptoms in women after treatment for breast cancer.

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