Fatigue after heart transplantation – a possible barrier to self-efficacy

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Rationale: Recovery after heart transplantation is challenging and many heart recipients struggle with various transplant-related symptoms, side-effects of immunosuppressive medications and mental challenges. Fatigue has been reported to be one of the most common and distressing symptoms after heart transplantation and might therefore constitute a barrier to self-efficacy, which acts as a moderator of self-management. Aim: To explore the prevalence of fatigue and its relationship to self-efficacy among heart recipients 1–5 years after transplantation. Research method: An explorative cross-sectional design, including 79 heart recipients due for follow-up 1–5 years after transplantation. Three different self-assessment instruments were employed; The Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory-19, Self-efficacy for managing chronic disease 6-Item Scale and The Postoperative Recovery Profile. Ethical approval: The study was approved by the Regional Ethics Board of Lund (Dnr. 2014/670-14/10) with supplementary approval from the Swedish Ethical Review Authority (Dnr. 2019-02769). Results: The reported levels of fatigue for the whole group were moderate in all dimensions of the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory-19, with highest ratings in the General Fatigue sub-scale. Those most fatigued were the groups younger than 50 years; pretransplant treatment with Mechanical Circulatory Support; not recovered or had not returned to work. Self-efficacy was associated with the sub-dimensions Mental Fatigue (ρ = −0·.649) and Reduced Motivation (ρ = −0·617), which explained 40·1% of the variance when controlled for age and gender. Study limitations: The small sample size constitutes a limitation. Conclusions: The moderate levels of fatigue reported indicate that it is not a widespread problem. However, for those suffering from severe fatigue it is a troublesome symptom that affects the recovery process and their ability to return to work. Efforts should be made to identify those troubled by fatigue to enable sufficient self-management support.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Göteborgs universitet

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Omvårdnad
  • Kardiologi


TidskriftScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 dec 28
Peer review utfördJa