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News

Management of fatigue in inflammatory bowel disease

A study published ahead of print investigates the management of fatigue in inflammatory bowel disease.

News image

Fatigue is a common and leading concern for patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

It is managed inadequately in inflammatory bowel disease, and there is little evidence to support interventions.

Dr Czuber-Dochan and colleagues examined patients' experience of and factors contributing to inflammatory bowel disease-fatigue, and appraised its management by patients and healthcare professionals.

The team searched 7 electronic databases.

Subject headings and free-text searching were used, with no time limit set.

Reference lists of retrieved papers were searched manually.

The research team reviewed 28 papers.

Researchers used terms including 'fatigue', 'low energy', 'tiredness', 'decline in vitality and vigour' and 'reduced energy and vitality'.

Different definitions were used to conceptualise fatigue.

Inconsistent use of terminology contributes to fatigue being largely overlooked by healthcare professionals
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

The team of doctors reported that none of the reviewed studies asked patients to describe the experience of fatigue in their own words.

Numerous physical, psychological and situational factors associated with fatigue were identified.

The research team assessed that 3 small randomized control trials reported a favorable effect of infliximab, and adalimumab on fatigue.

One intervention study reported benefit from a stress management program, and one from solution-focused therapy.

The doctors reported that inconsistent use of terminology, lack of data from patients' perspective on inflammatory bowel disease-fatigue, and lack of evidence to support its management contribute to fatigue being largely ignored or overlooked by healthcare professionals.

Dr Czuber-Dochan's team concludes, "Future research should explore the experience of inflammatory bowel disease-fatigue from the individual patient perspective."

"Further studies are required to fully explore the factors associated with fatigue, and to develop patient-centred interventions to reduce fatigue."

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2013: 37(5): 505-516
05 February 2013

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