Background. Fatigue is a significant aspect of everyday life for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and it influences their health-related quality of life. Little is known about fatigue fromthe patient’s perspective. Aim. To investigate howfemale IBDpatients experience and handle fatigue. Methods. The study included 11 female outpatients. These patients were 40–59 years old and had IBD ≥ one year and a significantly increased fatigue score. Patients with severe active IBD, anaemia, comorbidity, or pregnancy were excluded. The included patients agreed to participate in a semistructured interview. The interviews were analysed usingMalterud’s principles of systematic text condensation. Results. The patients described physical and mental symptoms of fatigue that led to social-, physical-, andwork-related limitationswith emotional consequences. To handle fatigue, the patients used planning, priority, acceptance, exercise, and support. Two of the eleven patients used exercise on a regular basis. Surprisingly, some patients indicated that they did not need to talk with professionals about their fatigue unless a cure was available. Conclusion. Fatigue in IBD includes physical andmental symptoms that limit the patients’ social-, physical-, andwork-related lives.Despite this, some patients expressed that they had chosen to accept their fatigue.
Gastroenterology Research and Practice, 2013, Vol 2013
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