J Korean Acad Fundam Nurs.  2001 Dec;8(3):302-313.

Chronic Fatigue and Related Factors in Adults

  • 1College of Nursing Science, Ewha Womans University, Korea.
  • 2Department of Nursing, Chongju National College of Science & Technology, Korea. mspark@chongjunc.ac.kr


To identify characteristics of chronic fatigue, difference between the duration of fatigue and characteristics of chronic fatigue, and association between chronic fatigue and related factors in adults. METHOD: The subjects for this study were 180 adults who had experienced fatigue for over one month. The measurement tools were the Revised Fatigue Scale by Chalder et al. (1993), the Visual Analogue Scale-energy developed by Lee et al. (1991), the BEPSI (Brief Encounter Psychosocial Instrument) by Frank & Zyzanski (1988), Zung's self rating depression scale (1965) and life style items including exercise, sleep, drinking, smoking and diet as developed by the researchers.
Those who complained of fatigue over six months experienced higher disturbances in their daily life compared to those who had suffered from fatigue less than six months. There were a significant correlation between severity of fatigue and depression (r=0.46, p<.001), stress (r=0.41, p<.001), and sleep (r=0.20, p<.01) Statistically significant relationships were found between severity of fatigue and amount of exercise per week (F=3.79, p<.05), disturbed sleep (t=-2.66, p<.01), number of times awakened during the night (F=3.48, p<.05), types of drinking (F=2.65, p<.05), and diet regularity (F=5.83, p<.01). The construction of a multiple regression model revealed an adjusted R2 of .27 with the depression score serving the major predictor variables for severity of fatigue. Men and people in the younger age group were more energetic than women and those in other age groups. Also married people experienced more fatigue than people who were single, divorced or separated.
In nursing interventions for fatigue, medical personnel should consider sociodemographic characteristics of the clients, ways to reduce of stress and counter disturbances in daily life and develop strategies for a health promoting life style.


Chronic fatigue; Adult; Depression; Stress; Life style
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