Nursing diagnosis – FATIGUE



An overwhelming sustained sense of exhaustion and decreased

capacity for physical and mental work at usual level


• Decreased libido or performance

• Disinterest in surroundings

• Drowsiness

• Failure of sleep to restore energy

• Lack of energy

• Guilt for not meeting responsibilities

• Inability to maintain usual routines

• Impaired concentration

• Increased need for rest

• Increased physical complaints

• Lethargy or listlessness

• Perceived need for more energy for routine tasks

• Verbalization of overwhelming lack of energy


• Psychological, e.g., anxiety,

• Environmental, e.g., humidity,

depression, stress

lights, noise, temperature

• Physiological, e.g., anemia, dis-

• Situational, e.g., negative life

ease states, malnutrition, preg-
nancy, poor physical condition

events, occupation

ASSESSMENT FOCUS    (Refer  to  comprehensive  assessment  parameters.)

• Activity/exercise

• Reproduction

• Cardiovascular function

• Respiratory function

• Coping

• Risk management

• Neurocognition

• Sleep/rest

• Nutrition


The patient will

• Identify and employ measures to prevent or modify fatigue.

• Explain relationship of fatigue to disease process and activity level.

• Verbally express increased energy.

• Articulate plan to resolve fatigue problems.


Activity Tolerance; Endurance; Energy Conservation; Nutritional Sta-

tus: Energy; Psychomotor Energy; Personal Well-Being


Determine: Assess usual patterns of sleep and activity to establish a



Perform: Conserve energy through rest, planning, and setting priori-

ties to prevent or alleviate fatigue. Alternate activities with periods

of rest. Avoid scheduling two energy-draining procedures on the

same day. Encourage activities that can be completed in short peri-

ods. These measures help to avoid overexertion and increase stamina.

Reduce demands placed on patient (e.g., ask one family member

to call at specified times and relay messages to friends and other

family members) to reduce physical and emotional stress.

Structure environment (e.g., set up daily schedule on the basis of

patient needs and desires) to encourage compliance with treatment


Postpone eating when patient is fatigued, to avoid aggravating

condition. Provide small, frequent feedings to conserve patient’s

energy and encourage increased dietary intake.

Establish a regular sleeping pattern. Getting 8–10 hr of sleep

nightly helps reduce fatigue.

Inform: Discuss effect of fatigue on daily living and personal goals.

Explore with patient relationship between fatigue and disease

process to help increase patient compliance with schedule for activ-

ity and rest.

Attend: Encourage patient to eat foods rich in iron and minerals,

unless contraindicated to help avoid anemia and demineralization.

Manage: Encourage patient to explore feelings and emotions with a

supportive counselor, clergy, or other professional to help cope with

illness and avoid aggravating fatigue.


Activity Therapy; Coping Enhancement; Energy Management;

Exercise Promotion; Sleep Enhancement


Barsevick, A. M., et al. (2006, September–October). Cancer-related fatigue,

depressive symptoms, and functional status: A mediation model. Nursing
Research, 55(5), 366–372.

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