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The role of psychological factors in the fatigue of primary biliary cirrhosis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark FreestonORCiD, Dr Christine Baker, Professor David Jones, Emerita Professor Julia Newton


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Fatigue impairs the quality of life of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) patients. In this study, we explored the psychological factors and coping strategies in fatigued PBC patients. Patients participated in a semi-structured interview examining thoughts regarding the impact of fatigue and coping strategies. All completed the disease-specific quality-of-life tool, PBC-40, the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ) (degree of habitual worry) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) (current anxiety and depression). PBC patients were allocated into high (>38, n=10) and low-fatigue (<38, n=14) groups. No differences were seen between high-fatigue and low-fatigue groups regarding age, marital status, employment status, PBC stage, years with diagnosis and years experiencing fatigue. High-fatigue participants were significantly more anxious (P=0.008), more depressed (P<0.001), and more likely to worry (<0.05). High-fatigue participants had more frequent thoughts about the impact of fatigue (P<0.005) and lower self-efficacy scores (P<0.001). In conclusion, PBC patients can experience profound distress associated with fatigue. PBC patients with high levels of fatigue seem to be more vulnerable to emotional distress, more likely to perceive that their quality of life has been negatively affected and are less confident to engage in everyday activities compared with those with low levels of fatigue. © 2007 Blackwell Munksgaard.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Blackburn P, Freeston M, Baker CR, Jones DEJ, Newton JL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Liver International

Year: 2007

Volume: 27

Issue: 5

Pages: 654-661

ISSN (print): 1478-3223

ISSN (electronic): 1478-3231

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2007.01500.x


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