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Keywords:

  • acupressure;
  • cognitive behavioural therapy;
  • distraction;
  • effectiveness;
  • energy conservation;
  • exercise;
  • fatigue;
  • nursing interventions;
  • psycho-education;
  • relaxation

Aims and objectives

To identify and describe nonpharmacological interventions for the management of fatigue that are within the scope of nursing practice.

Background

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.

Design

Literature review.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.