Fatigue in adolescents and young adults with sickle cell disease: biological and behavioral correlates and health-related quality of life

J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. 2014 Jan-Feb;31(1):6-17. doi: 10.1177/1043454213514632. Epub 2013 Dec 30.


This descriptive, correlational study examined fatigue and potential biological and behavioral correlates in adolescents and young adults with sickle cell disease. Sixty adolescents and young adults with sickle cell disease completed the Brief Fatigue Inventory, Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory-Short Form, Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) fatigue short form and measures of pain, sleep quality, anxiety, depressive mood, stress, disease severity, and quality of life. Blood samples were obtained for hemoglobin and cytokines. Fatigue scores were mostly moderate in severity. Fatigue interfered to a moderate degree with daily activities and correlated significantly with pain, sleep quality, state and trait anxiety, depressive mood, stress, and quality of life. Fatigue was correlated with hemoglobin on the PROMIS measure. Fatigue was not correlated with cytokines or age, nor differed by disease severity. Fatigue was common in these adolescents and young adults, interfered with daily activities such as school, work and exercise, and significantly correlated with several potentially modifiable factors. As life expectancy increases in sickle cell disease, research is needed to test interventions to reduce fatigue.

Keywords: adolescents and young adults; fatigue; pain; quality of life; sickle cell disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / physiopathology*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fatigue*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult