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1 A study of fatigue in malignant pleural effusions
  1. Donna Wakefield and
  2. Avinash Aujayeb
  1. Northumbria HealtCare NHS Foundation Trust, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust


Introduction Cancer-related fatigue is well described and can have a significant negative impact on patient quality of life. The prevalence of fatigue in patients with a malignant pleural effusion (MPE) and whether interventions for MPE could have an impact on fatigue has not previously been explored. FACIT-F is a validated tool for assessing patient-reported fatigue.1

Methods 30 patients with MPE or presumed MPE presenting to the regional pleural clinic were surveyed. Consent was verbally obtained and local governance approval was sought. Basic demographics were collected as well as co-morbidities and relevant haematological results. Patients self-reported fatigue levels by completing the FACIT-F tool.

Results The median patient age 74.8 years, IQR 16, range (46–87). Diagnoses were 15 pleural mesotheliomas, 9 lung carcinomas, 4 breast cancers and 2 ovarian cancers. Patients had a wide range of co-morbidities from hypertension, previous myocardial infarctions, diabetes and previous resected cancers. 5 patients had more than 2 co-morbidities (hypertension being the commonest one). Median BMI was 26.5, range 21.3–34.3. All haemoglobin and kidney function were within the normal range. ECOG performance status was between 1 and 3 (1: n= 16, 2: n= 12, 3: n=2). Figure 1 shows the responses for each point of the FACIT-F tool.

Conclusion This is a small cohort which showed significant fatigue levels with a negative impact on daily living and quality of life. Patients presented to clinic and had generally good performance status. Further statistical analysis for confounding factors is warranted but this is enough data for a prospective study to examine whether interventions to manage MPE could improve patient-reported fatigue levels. A wider range of patients with multiple confounding comorbidities will be recruited and patients will fill the form with an investigator present to improve the number of responses. The Interventions for Malignant Pleural Effusions impact on Fatigue (IMPE-F) study now has IRAS and REC approval to run as a single centre study.


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