Objective To investigate any association between fatigue and physical impairment/disability in stable cerebral glioma patients. Secondary aims were to explore the association of fatigue severity with sleep problems and depression and distinguishing physical from mental fatigue.
Background Fatigue, an abnormal tiredness that negatively impacts daily functioning, is commonly reported in glioma patients and cause may be multi-factorial. It has not been studied in glioma patients.
Methods Patients, attending a regional neuro-oncology clinic in Edinburgh, were recruited if they had cerebral glioma, “stable” imaging and were not receiving active treatment. After consent, the Brief Fatigue Inventory, KPS, Kurtzke EDSS, 10Metre Walk test, NHPT, Actiwatch, sleep log, ESS, and the HADs test were completed.
Results 38 patients with (WHO grade I-IV) glioma, age range 22–69 year were recruited. Most patients were fatigued (73.7% reported a moderate-severe level). Physical and mental fatigue were equally prevalent and significant correlated.
We did not find a significant association between the severity of fatigue and EDSS score or between EDSS and depression. However, an association was found between hours of sleep and fatigue severity.
Discussion Assessing fatigue, mood, sleep, and physical status may be useful for better understanding of the needs of brain tumour patients. Although no association was found with physical disability, sleep disturbance where present may be treatable.