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Concept analysis: chronic fatigue

Concept analysis: chronic fatigueJudith Trendall
St Bartholomew School of Nursing and Midwifery, City University, London, England.

This concept analysis attempts to clarify and analyse the concept ‘chronic fatigue’ and does so by utilizing the framework outlined by Walker and Avant (1995). The aim is to use this work to underpin future research into the care of patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The literature revealed no universal definition of fatigue and a confusion exists between fatigue and chronic fatigue. Three concept analyses are considered to assist clarification. Everyday meanings are sought as well as meanings revealed in poetry. A continuum from tired to exhausted is identified and definitions offered. Defining attributes are decided upon which will be used as an operational definition in later research. Constructed cases are created; antecedents and consequences are devised from the literature; scales, tests and descriptions of general appearance which appear within the literature are considered as empirical referents. However, whilst assisting with the understanding of the concept and future research, the complexity of this subject is still evident.

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