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Fatigue Symptom Management in People Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Perazzo, Joseph D. PhD, RN; Webel, Allison R. PhD, RN; Voss, Joachim G. PhD, RN, ACRN, FAAN; Prince-Paul, Maryjo PhD, APRN, ACHPN, FPCN

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: April 2017 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 122–127
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000329
Symptom Management Series

Fatigue is a subjective, unpleasant, potentially disabling symptom rooted in physiological, psychological, and behavioral causes. People living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are a population highly affected by fatigue because of risk factors associated with HIV infection, treatment, and psychosocial disease burden. People with HIV are living longer and are facing the challenge of a longer disease trajectory. Palliative nurses with expertise in symptom management can play a crucial role in helping people with HIV to engage in health behaviors that prevent or mitigate fatigue. In this article, the authors present a definition and overview of fatigue, describe the problem of fatigue in people living with HIV, and present a case study that illustrates the role of the palliative nurse in helping a person with HIV to cope with fatigue.

Key Implications for Palliative Care Nurses:

* People living with HIV are at high risk for fatigue because of cardiovascular and metabolic changes that occur as a result of HIV infection and treatment.

* Fatigue is a multidimensional symptom that includes physical sensation changes and changes in thought processes and awareness, and it can affect behavioral and social function.

* Palliative care nurses with expertise in symptom management can advocate for people living with HIV by facilitating necessary clinical assessments and referrals and can help people with HIV address physiological, psychological, and behavioral factors that cause fatigue through holistic care planning with patients.

Joseph D. Perazzo, PhD, RN, is postdoctoral fellow, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Allison R. Webel, PhD, RN, is assistant professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Joachim G. Voss, PhD, RN, ACRN, FAAN, is professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Maryjo Prince-Paul, PhD, APRN, ACHPN, FPCN, is associate professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Address correspondence to Joseph D. Perazzo, PhD, RN, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, 2120 Cornell Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106 (jdp118@case.edu).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2017 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.