• chronic liver disease;
  • exercise;
  • fatigue;
  • liver cirrhosis;
  • nurses;
  • nursing;
  • physical activity;
  • symptom

Aims and objectives.  This study aimed to explore the correlation between fatigue and physical activity in patients with liver cirrhosis.

Background.  Many patients with liver cirrhosis perceive lower physical functioning and more fatigue than non-cirrhotic individuals. To date, however, few studies have examined the relationship between fatigue and physical activity in this patient population.

Design.  This study used a correlation design. Participants were patients with liver cirrhosis recruited from the gastroenterology clinic of a teaching medical centre in Taiwan.

Methods.  Data were collected using a structured questionnaire, consisting of a fatigue scale and a seven-day Physical Activity Recall scale. spss version 13.0 software was used to analyse the data through statistical methods, including one-way analysis of variance, independent t-test and Pearson’s correlations.

Results.  Patients participating in this study suffered from moderate-to-severe fatigue, and their engagement in physical activity of moderate or higher intensity was decreased. On average, fatigue had a moderate level of influence on physical activity. A significant negative correlation was found between the fatigue level and average seven-day physical activity level.

Conclusions.  Patients with liver cirrhosis can experience severe fatigue, which may reduce their level of physical activity.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Early evaluation of the fatigue level and physical activity constraints in patients with liver cirrhosis should be conducted in the clinic or community. Individualised instructions for patient’s physical activity should be provided.