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Assessment of Fatigue after Blood Transfusion in Palliative Care Patients: A Feasibility Study

Assessment of Fatigue after Blood Transfusion in Palliative Care Patients: A Feasibility Study

Abstract

Background: Blood transfusions are often used as a potential treatment for cancer-related fatigue in anaemic palliative care patients. However, evidence of benefit using validated outcomes measures is lacking. Aim: The aim of this study was to test the feasibility of using two such tools; the Brief Fatigue Inventory and FACT F-fatigue subscale, to measure change in fatigue following a blood transfusion. Method: Anemic cancer patients receiving specialist palliative care and undergoing transfusion for fatigue, completed the tools pre- and 3 days post-transfusion. Results: Thirty patients with cancer-related fatigue who received a blood transfusion completed the study. Both measures were capable of detecting statistical and clinically significant change in fatigue following transfusion. Furthermore, the measures showed significant differences between patients that did, or did not, report an overall improvement in fatigue. Patients found the measures easy to complete with no preference for one over another. Future clinical trials of blood transfusion for the management of fatigue should incorporate these validated outcome measures.
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