Objective: This study describes the experiences of fatigue and pain in incurable cancer patients and the treatment they receive. Methods: Patients were recruited via medical specialists from hospitals in the South and Southwest of the Netherlands. Hundred and twenty-five incurable cancer patients filled out a written questionnaire and were also interviewed at home. Results: Ninety percent reported to suffer from fatigue and 48% had pain. Forty-five percent had discussed fatigue with a healthcare professional and 55% had discussed pain. Fifteen percent reported to receive medical treatment for their fatigue and 29% received pain treatment. Treatment for fatigue and pain treatment had been recently adjusted in 4% of the patients with fatigue complaints and 21% of the patients with pain complaints. Conclusion: Although fatigue is a more common problem than pain in patients with incurable cancer, less attention in the care is paid to fatigue and its treatment than to pain. Practice implications: Fatigue deserves more attention in the care policy for incurable cancer patients and more research should be focused on interventions to address fatigue in this group of cancer patients.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Fatigue, Incurable cancer, Pain, Symptom management
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2008.02.011, hdl.handle.net/1765/29766
Journal Patient Education and Counseling
Collins, S, de Vogel-Voogt, E, Visser, A.P.H, & van der Heide, A. (2008). Presence, communication and treatment of fatigue and pain complaints in incurable cancer patients. Patient Education and Counseling, 72(1), 102–108. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2008.02.011