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In Their Own Words: Using the Common Sense Model to Analyze Patient Descriptions of Cancer-Related Fatigue

Andrea M. Barsevick
Kyra Whitmer
Lee Walker
ONF 2001, 1363-1369 DOI:

Purpose/Objectives: To describe cancer-related fatigue (CRF) from the perspective of individuals experiencing it and examine the fit of their descriptions with the concepts from the Common Sense Model (CSM).

Design: Exploratory, qualitative design.

Sample: A convenience sample of eight patients with cancer known to be experiencing fatigue from the outpatient clinic.

Methods: Content analysis of data obtained from focus groups.

Findings: All statements describing CRF could be classified using the major constructs of the CSM: representation, coping, and appraisal. The majority of statements were classified as representations of fatigue (67%), with smaller proportions classified as coping (26%) and appraisal (7%).

Conclusions: This study provides evidence to support the validity of the CSM constructs as an organizing framework in the conduct of research.

Implications for Nursing Practice: This study demonstrates the usefulness of the model In clinical assessment of patient representations of CRF as well as coping strategies for managing it The model is particularly useful in targeting knowledge deficits and inaccuracies.

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