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Keywords:

  • depression;
  • fatigue;
  • myocardial infarction;
  • symptom

Alsén P, Brink E, Brändström Y, Karlson BW, Persson L-O. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 326–334 Fatigue after myocardial infarction: Relationships with indices of emotional distress, and sociodemographic and clinical variables

Fatigue and depressive symptoms are relatively common among patients recovering from myocardial infarction (MI). The symptoms of depression and fatigue overlap. The present study aimed at identifying patient fatigue and at examining the incidence of fatigue, particularly without coexisting depression, after MI. The sample comprised 204 consecutive patients who had completed the questionnaires Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory–20 after MI (1 week and 4 months). The results showed that fatigue had decreased after 4 months compared with the time of MI onset. Compared with the general population, patients reported significantly higher levels of fatigue. Furthermore, fatigue was associated with depression, but 33% of the sample reported fatigue without coexisting depression after 4 months. In order to prevent or treat patients' symptoms of fatigue after MI, the concepts of fatigue and depression should be assessed separately so as to exclude overlapping effects.