The experience of fatigue for people living with hepatitis C

J Clin Nurs. 2003 Mar;12(2):244-52. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2702.2003.00709.x.


Hepatitis C affects approximately 3% of the world population, with fatigue being acknowledged as the cardinal symptom. Despite growing recognition that hepatitis C fatigue impacts in a negative manner on quality of life, at the time of this study no empirical information existed regarding the nature of this fatigue or the way in which it affects a person's life. Such information is needed to enable nurses to engage in appropriate sensitive symptom management which is the core nursing activity with this population, as to date there is no vaccine or widely effective pharmacological therapy. The aim of the study was to ascertain the nature of hepatitis C fatigue. A qualitative approach using a grounded theory approach was employed. Theoretical sampling generated 28 participants for in-depth interview. Data analysis consisted of three coding processes, each type of coding having its own purpose and method. Ethical approval was obtained, both from the principal author's academic institution and the participating health care institution. Hepatitis C fatigue emerged as being multidimensional in nature, with both acute and chronic versions existing. The hepatology community is beginning to acknowledge the significant prevalence of hepatitis C fatigue. This study provides a valuable insight into its nature. This information can serve as resource for practitioners in their development of interventions to enable the hepatitis C virus population live with fatigue in a proactive manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Anecdotes as Topic
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Emotions
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C / complications*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Self-Assessment