The Diurnal Patterns of Fatigue in Patients on Hemodialysis: A Pilot Study

Friday, 28 July 2017

Ann Horigan, PhD
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

Purpose:  Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms patients on hemodialysis experience. With a prevalence rate of 60-97%, it affects both mental and physical functioning. While fatigue is a frequent and often debilitating problem for patients on hemodialysis, there is little research regarding the patterns of fatigue that patients experience. The purpose of this study is to (a) determine the feasibility of measuring fatigue in patients on hemodialysis 4 times daily for one week using a self - report method, and (b) investigate the diurnal patterns of fatigue in relation to the dialysis session over one week, from Sunday to Saturday.

Methods: Twenty-five hemodialysis patients over the age of 21 years will be recruited for this study. A longitudinal, correlational design will be used to investigate the diurnal patterns of fatigue and how they are related to the dialysis session and demographic and physiologic variables. The Lee Fatigue Scale will be used to measure levels of fatigue throughout the day and demographic and physiologic variables will be collected from the patient chart. The feasibility of measuring fatigue four times daily for seven days in patients on hemodialysis will be assessed by success of participant recruitment and completion of data collection.

Results: Research is ongoing at this time

Conclusion: Research is ongoing, however it is expected that participants will have a higher level of fatigue after the dialysis session that will last for varying amounts of time, possibly until the morning of the day after dialysis. It is also expected that fatigue levels will be lower or possibly non-existent on non-hemodialysis days. While it is difficult to predict the outcome of feasibility, if there are gaps in data, it is anticipated that those gaps will occur on dialysis session days when fatigue and travel are most likely to interfere. This work will be the basis for larger studies that will deepen our knowledge regarding the patterns of fatigue and its associated factors.