Screening, evaluation, and management of cancer-related fatigue: Ready for implementation to practice?

Ann M. Berger, Sandra A. Mitchell, Paul B. Jacobsen, William F. Pirl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Answer questions and earn CME/CNE Evidence regarding cancer-related fatigue (fatigue) has accumulated sufficiently such that recommendations for screening, evaluation, and/or management have been released recently by 4 leading cancer organizations. These evidence-based fatigue recommendations are available for clinicians, and some have patient versions; but barriers at the patient, clinician, and system levels hinder dissemination and implementation into practice. The underlying biologic mechanisms for this debilitating symptom have not been elucidated completely, hindering the development of mechanistically driven interventions. However, significant progress has been made toward methods for screening and comprehensively evaluating fatigue and other common symptoms using reliable and valid self-report measures. Limited data exist to support the use of any pharmacologic agent; however, several nonpharmacologic interventions have been shown to be effective in reducing fatigue in adults. Never before have evidence-based recommendations for fatigue management been disseminated by 4 premier cancer organizations (the National Comprehensive Cancer, the Oncology Nursing Society, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer/Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology). Clinicians may ask: Are we ready for implementation into practice? The reply: A variety of approaches to screening, evaluation, and management are ready for implementation. To reduce fatigue severity and distress and its impact on functioning, intensified collaborations and close partnerships between clinicians and researchers are needed, with an emphasis on system-wide efforts to disseminate and implement these evidence-based recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-211
Number of pages22
JournalCA Cancer Journal for Clinicians
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • cancer-related fatigue
  • evidence-based interventions
  • multidisciplinary management
  • patient-reported outcomes
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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