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Fatigue in adulthood and older age

Pieterson, R. (2014) Fatigue in adulthood and older age.

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Abstract:Objectives: Fatigue is reported as one of the most common and bothersome symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). For most RA patients fatigue is unpredictable and overwhelming. At this point there is no clear cause that triggers fatigue in RA but it is suggested that pain, physical functioning and depression can contribute to the level of fatigue experienced. In general it is assumed that older people have higher levels of fatigue but a recent study showed that these older people report the least level of fatigue. The primary aim of this study was to analyze if the experience of fatigue is different in different life stages. The second aim was to see of the life situation of the patient and characteristics of the disease like depression, pain and physical functioning can explain differences in fatigue at different ages. Methods: The data of 752 RA patients (67.2% women, mean age 60 years) was selected from a multi-centre longitudinal study (POEET). The BRAF-MDQ was used to measure four dimensions of fatigue. Next the HRQoL was assessed with the Dutch version of the SF-36 to determine the health state of the patient. Results: It was found that age on its own is not a predictive value in fatigue. But when it is controlled by the factors bodily pain, mental health and physical function it seems that age has some predictive value. Older people reported lower levels of fatigue when corrected for the factors physical functioning, mental health and bodily pain. Discussion: The findings indicate that age is predictive when controlling for bodily pain, mental health and physical function. It could be that the feeling of fatigue is influenced by maladaptive coping strategies like catastrophizing, this is a point for further investigation.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/65766
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