1 Department of Public Health - Department of Science in Nursing, Department of Public Health, Health, Aarhus University2 Department of Cardiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.3 Department of Public Health - Department of Science in Nursing, Department of Public Health, Health, Aarhus University
a systematic review of qualitative evidence
Background Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms reported by patients with heart failure (HF). Fatigue negatively impacts on patients’ everyday life, prognosis and quality of life. No specific cure or effective interventions to alleviate fatigue are available. Over the past decade, qualitative studies have been performed to develop more coherent and effective interventions to support self-care among heart failure patients experiencing fatigue. The findings of qualitative research should be synthesised to optimise nurses' understanding of fatigue and develop recommendations for practice. Aim To synthesise the best available evidence related to the lived experiences and management of fatigue in everyday life in adult patients with stable heart failure to develop effective interventions to support self-care. Specific questions on the patients’ lived experiences included: • How do patients with HF describe their experiences of fatigue? • How do patients with HF perceive the impact of fatigue in everyday life? • How do patients with HF manage fatigue and its consequences in everyday life? Methods A systematic literature search for published and unpublished studies 1995-2012 was carried out from October 2012 - ????. Search terms were “heart failure”, “fatigue” and “experience”. Studies were included if they explored the experiences and management of fatigue in everyday life among adult patients with HF, included non-hospitalised adult patients with confirmed HF or outpatients in a HF clinic. The Australian Joanna Briggs Institute Qualitative Review Instrument (JBI-QARI) is used to manage, critically appraise, analyse and synthesise findings. Results A total of 255 references were identified and five qualitative research articles met the inclusion criteria and were included after assessment of methodological quality. The study is ongoing; findings have been categorised on the basis of similarity in meaning and subjected to a meta-synthesis. Preliminary implications for practice are to have a common terminology on fatigue from the patient's perspective; This could improve data collection and documentation of fatigue and finally recommendations for interventions to support self-care. The results will be presented at the EuroHeartCare 2014.