University of Twente Student Theses


Experience of fatigue in osteoarthritis and the role of coping: a qualitative study

Klein Woolthuis, Rémon (2012) Experience of fatigue in osteoarthritis and the role of coping: a qualitative study.

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Abstract:Introduction Patients with osteoarthritis (OA) commonly experience fatigue as a symptom, next to the more common symptoms as pain. The focus of this study is to gain further insight in the experience of fatigue in OA, how people generally tend to cope with OA induced fatigue and what role focusing on positive aspects plays in this. Methods Participants were 13 OA patients, gathered via a regional general practitioner and from Medical Spectrum Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted using a bottom-up scheme, meaning that the patients' answers were summarised and categorised via a coding process. Results The analysed interviews showed a prime characteristic of interindividual variance regarding the impact and nature of fatigue induced by OA. Patients were found to use many different coping styles to manage the feelings accompanied with fatigue and fatigue itself. Patients stated to benefit from positivity (such as expressing emotion and thinking positively) and acceptance, through having a feeling of being able to cope in a better way with fatigue. Conclusions Results of the analyses point towards a very subjective nature of experienced fatigue in OA, which puts forth the advice of targeting the help at the subjective and personal situation of patients. It also seems crucial to put emphasis on the possibilities rather than on limitations of the patient, and offering patients ways to accept the condition better.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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