Nonpharmacological nursing interventions for the management of patient fatigue: a literature review
Article first published online: 9 MAY 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Clinical Nursing
Volume 22, Issue 19-20, pages 2668–2678, October 2013
How to Cite
Patterson, E., Wan, Y. W. T. and Sidani, S. (2013), Nonpharmacological nursing interventions for the management of patient fatigue: a literature review. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 22: 2668–2678. doi: 10.1111/jocn.12211
- Issue published online: 5 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 9 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 NOV 2012
- Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
- cognitive behavioural therapy;
- energy conservation;
- nursing interventions;
Aims and objectives
To identify and describe nonpharmacological interventions for the management of fatigue that are within the scope of nursing practice.
Fatigue is a complex multidimensional symptom experienced by patients with varying diagnoses. Limited details are available on the nature of nursing interventions to manage fatigue, which preclude fidelity of implementation in day-to-day practice.
Multiple databases were searched for publications reporting on the evaluation of nurse-delivered interventions for the management of fatigue. Data were extracted on study and intervention characteristics and results pertaining to the effects of the intervention on fatigue.
The studies (n = 16) evaluated eight interventions: psycho-education, cognitive behavioural therapy, exercise, acupressure, relaxation, distraction, energy conservation and activity management, and a combination of exercise, education and support.
Psycho-education was evaluated in several studies and demonstrated effectiveness when delivered in both acute and community settings.
Relevance to clinical practice
This review focused on interventions that are within the scope of nursing practice for the management of fatigue. The findings provide nurses with an overview of the effectiveness of interventions they may use in their day-to-day practice to help patients manage fatigue. A detailed description of interventions found effective is provided to assist nurses in translating evidence into practice.