Features of fatigue in patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer

Xianping Huang, Weihe Zhou, Yuefeng Zhang


Background: The objective of this study was to investigate the fatigue status and related factors in patients with early-stage

non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) 1-5 years after surgery. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included

254 patients with stage IA or IB NSCLC, who had undergone surgery. They completed several surveys, including the Brief

Fatigue Inventory, Karnofsky Performance Scale, Physical Activity Questionnaire, Baseline Dyspnea Index, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. The association between fatigue and functional status was assessed using Chi-square analysis. Spearman rank correlation and multivariate logistic regression analysis were used to assess the correlation between fatigue and various other factors. Results: The overall incidence of postoperative fatigue was 59.8%. Among patients with moderate to severe fatigue,21.1% had obvious dysfunction, whereas only 9.6% of patients with mild or no fatigue (?2 = 5.369; P = 0.02) showed obvious dysfunction. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that functional status (odds ratio [OR]: 3.57; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.17-6.19), concurrent lung disease (OR: 2.34; 95% CI: 1.08-4.99), depression (OR: 6.39; 95% CI: 2.42-17.35), and anxiety (OR: 2.45; 95% CI: 1.13-4.87) were independent risk factors for fatigue, whereas physical activity (OR: 0.27; 95% CI: 0.11-0.73) could prevent fatigue. Conclusion: More than half of the patients with early-stage NSCLC experienced fatigue 1-5 years after surgery, and moderate to severe fatigue was often associated with obvious dysfunction. The strong association of fatigue with anxiety, depression, and lung complications suggests that fatigue and other symptoms constitute a symptom cluster. Therefore, comprehensive treatment methods may achieve better therapeutic results.


Key words: Early-stage, fatigue, non-small cell lung cancer

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