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Educational interventions for the management of cancer-related fatigue in adults

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2016
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (88th percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (62nd percentile)

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2 Facebook pages

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Title
Educational interventions for the management of cancer-related fatigue in adults
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd008144.pub2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Sally Bennett, Amanda Pigott, Elaine M Beller, Terry Haines, Pamela Meredith, Christie Delaney

Abstract

Cancer-related fatigue is reported as the most common and distressing symptom experienced by patients with cancer. It can exacerbate the experience of other symptoms, negatively affect mood, interfere with the ability to carry out everyday activities, and negatively impact on quality of life. Educational interventions may help people to manage this fatigue or to cope with this symptom, and reduce its overall burden. Despite the importance of education for managing cancer-related fatigue there are currently no systematic reviews examining this approach. To determine the effectiveness of educational interventions for managing cancer-related fatigue in adults. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ERIC, OTseeker and PEDro up to 1st November 2016. We also searched trials registries. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of educational interventions focused on cancer-related fatigue where fatigue was a primary outcome. Studies must have aimed to evaluate the effect of educational interventions designed specifically to manage cancer-related fatigue, or to evaluate educational interventions targeting a constellation of physical symptoms or quality of life where fatigue was the primary focus. The studies could have compared educational interventions with no intervention or wait list controls, usual care or attention controls, or an alternative intervention for cancer-related fatigue in adults with any type of cancer. Two review authors independently screened studies for inclusion and extracted data. We resolved differences in opinion by discussion. Trial authors were contacted for additional information. A third independent person checked the data extraction. The main outcome considered in this review was cancer-related fatigue. We assessed the evidence using GRADE and created a 'Summary of Findings' table. We included 14 RCTs with 2213 participants across different cancer diagnoses. Four studies used only 'information-giving' educational strategies, whereas the remainder used mainly information-giving strategies coupled with some problem-solving, reinforcement, or support techniques. Interventions differed in delivery including: mode of delivery (face to face, web-based, audiotape, telephone); group or individual interventions; number of sessions provided (ranging from 2 to 12 sessions); and timing of intervention in relation to completion of cancer treatment (during or after completion). Most trials compared educational interventions to usual care and meta-analyses compared educational interventions to usual care or attention controls. Methodological issues that increased the risk of bias were evident including lack of blinding of outcome assessors, unclear allocation concealment in over half of the studies, and generally small sample sizes. Using the GRADE approach, we rated the quality of evidence as very low to moderate, downgraded mainly due to high risk of bias, unexplained heterogeneity, and imprecision.There was moderate quality evidence of a small reduction in fatigue intensity from a meta-analyses of eight studies (1524 participants; standardised mean difference (SMD) -0.28, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.52 to -0.04) comparing educational interventions with usual care or attention control. We found low quality evidence from twelve studies (1711 participants) that educational interventions had a small effect on general/overall fatigue (SMD -0.27, 95% CI -0.51 to -0.04) compared to usual care or attention control. There was low quality evidence from three studies (622 participants) of a moderate size effect of educational interventions for reducing fatigue distress (SMD -0.57, 95% CI -1.09 to -0.05) compared to usual care, and this could be considered clinically significant. Pooled data from four studies (439 participants) found a small reduction in fatigue interference with daily life (SMD -0.35, 95% CI -0.54 to -0.16; moderate quality evidence). No clear effects on fatigue were found related to type of cancer treatment or timing of intervention in relation to completion of cancer treatment, and there were insufficient data available to determine the effect of educational interventions on fatigue by stage of disease, tumour type or group versus individual intervention.Three studies (571 participants) provided low quality evidence for a reduction in anxiety in favour of the intervention group (mean difference (MD) -1.47, 95% CI -2.76 to -0.18) which, for some, would be considered clinically significant. Two additional studies not included in the meta-analysis also reported statistically significant improvements in anxiety in favour of the educational intervention, whereas a third study did not. Compared with usual care or attention control, educational interventions showed no significant reduction in depressive symptoms (four studies, 881 participants, SMD -0.12, 95% CI -0.47 to 0.23; very low quality evidence). Three additional trials not included in the meta-analysis found no between-group differences in the symptoms of depression. No between-group difference was evident in the capacity for activities of daily living or physical function when comparing educational interventions with usual care (4 studies, 773 participants, SMD 0.33, 95% CI -0.10 to 0.75) and the quality of evidence was low. Pooled evidence of low quality from two of three studies examining the effect of educational interventions compared to usual care found an improvement in global quality of life on a 0-100 scale (MD 11.47, 95% CI 1.29 to 21.65), which would be considered clinically significant for some.No adverse events were reported in any of the studies. Educational interventions may have a small effect on reducing fatigue intensity, fatigue's interference with daily life, and general fatigue, and could have a moderate effect on reducing fatigue distress. Educational interventions focused on fatigue may also help reduce anxiety and improve global quality of life, but it is unclear what effect they might have on capacity for activities of daily living or depressive symptoms. Additional studies undertaken in the future are likely to impact on our confidence in the conclusions.The incorporation of education for the management of fatigue as part of routine care appears reasonable. However, given the complex nature of this symptom, educational interventions on their own are unlikely to optimally reduce fatigue or help people manage its impact, and should be considered in conjunction with other interventions. Just how educational interventions are best delivered, and their content and timing to maximise outcomes, are issues that require further research.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 25 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 267 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 2 <1%
Unknown 265 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 56 21%
Student > Ph. D. Student 38 14%
Student > Bachelor 33 12%
Researcher 26 10%
Student > Postgraduate 15 6%
Other 54 20%
Unknown 45 17%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 79 30%
Nursing and Health Professions 57 21%
Psychology 32 12%
Social Sciences 13 5%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 5 2%
Other 25 9%
Unknown 56 21%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 14. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 15 February 2018.
All research outputs
#1,093,533
of 13,436,295 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#3,339
of 10,595 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#43,034
of 375,805 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#61
of 162 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,436,295 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 91st percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,595 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.9. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 68% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 375,805 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 88% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 162 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 62% of its contemporaries.