Age- and sex-standardised prevalence rates of fatigue in a large hospital-based sample of cancer patients

Br J Cancer. 2011 Jul 26;105(3):445-51. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.251. Epub 2011 Jul 12.


Background: The aim of this longitudinal study was to determine age- and sex-standardised prevalence rates of cancer-related fatigue in different groups of patients.

Methods: This was a prospective study in a cohort of N=1494 cancer patients investigating fatigue at three time points t1-t3 (t1: admission to hospital, t2: discharge, t3: half a year after t1). Fatigue was measured with the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory. Age- and sex-adjusted norms were derived from a representative community sample of N=2037, using a cutoff at the 75th percentile.

Results: At admission to the hospital, 32% of the patients were classified as fatigued. At discharge, the overall prevalence rate was 40%, and at half a year after t1, prevalence was 34%. Fatigue prevalence rates differed according to tumour stage, site, age, and sex of the patients.

Conclusion: The prevalence rates provided by this study can be used for the planning of research and clinical routine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Factors