Trajectories of fatigue in family caregivers of patients undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer


  • This research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Nursing Research (NINR, NR04835). Additional support for the corresponding author's program of research was provided through unrestricted grants from Endo Pharmaceuticals; PriCara, Unit of Ortho-McNeil, Inc.; and Purdue Pharma LP. Dr. Fletcher was funded during her doctoral program through a T32 Grant (NR07088) from NINR and was a Neidfelt postodoctoral fellow. Dr. Aouizerat is funded through the National Institutes of Health Roadmap Medical Research Grant (K12RR023262).


Predictors of and trajectories for evening and morning fatigue were evaluated in family caregivers of oncology patients using hierarchical linear modeling. Evening fatigue trajectory fit a quadratic model. Predictors included baseline sleep disturbances in family caregivers and baseline evening fatigue in patients. Morning fatigue trajectory fit a linear model. Predictors were baseline trait anxiety, levels of perceived family support, and baseline morning fatigue in patients. Findings suggest considerable inter-individual variability in the trajectories of evening and morning fatigue. Evaluating family caregivers for sleep disturbance, anxiety, and poor family support, as well as high levels of patient fatigue, could identify those family caregivers at highest risk for sustained fatigue trajectories. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 32:125–139, 2009