University of Twente Student Theses


Exploring fatigue patterns over time in early osteoarthritis

Botterman, J. (2013) Exploring fatigue patterns over time in early osteoarthritis.

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Abstract:Background – Fatigue is a common and often reported symptom among osteoarthritis patients. However, research into fatigue in osteoarthritis is scarce and the few studies that have been studying fatigue in OA primarily measured fatigue at a single point in time among moderate to severe OA patients. Thus far, nothing is known about the long term fatigue experience among early OA individuals. Objectives – The current study aimed to shed light on the severity of fatigue in an early OA cohort and tried to identify subgroups with distinct long term trajectories of fatigue over time. Differences between these fatigue groups were explained by using radiographic OA severity, age and gender. Method – Longitudinal data of 1000 early OA patients of the CHECK cohort were used. Each year for seven years, the fatigue level was measured using the Short Form 36 vitality scale. Radiographic OA severity was assessed at baseline with the Kellgren-Lawrence grading scale. Growth mixture modeling was applied in order to examine the severity of fatigue and to establish distinct fatigue groups. Multivariate regression analyses were used to examine the relation between the covariates and individuals’ group membership and interindividual differences in experienced fatigue within each fatigue group. Results – The results indicated that around two-thirds of the sample experienced fatigue levels that were well below the average fatigue level in the general Dutch population and similar to the Dutch cancer population. One third of the sample showed a stable and low level of fatigue over time. The largest group displayed declining levels of fatigue over time. Individuals in the last fatigue group showed a U-shape fatigue pattern. Females and younger aged adults experienced higher levels of fatigue within each class, and females were more likely than males to exhibit a declining fatigue pattern. Gender and age were not related to the interindividual differences in fatigue change over time within the groups. Radiographic OA severity could not at all explain the heterogeneity in fatigue. Discussion – These findings indicate that clinical relevant levels of fatigue are already present at this early stage of OA for many patients. The differences in level and development of fatigue over time and the observed gender and age differences needs close attention and monitoring by health care providers and should alert them regarding their decision making about developing treatment interventions and self-management strategies.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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