Research: LUKKAHATAI and SALIGAN,

Listed in Issue 233

Abstract

LUKKAHATAI and SALIGAN, (1)National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda,  MD 20892, USA. nada.lukkahatai@nih.gov critically review published studies investigating the association of catastrophizing with fatigue

Background

Catastrophizing is an exaggerated negative evaluation and attention to specific symptoms such as pain or fatigue. A number of studies consistently support the significant role of catastrophizing in pain. However, the role of catastrophizing in fatigue is less frequently investigated. This article provides a critical review of published studies investigating this association.

Methodology

Using the keyword "Fatigue AND Catastrophizing", we performed a search in PubMed, SCOPUS, PsycINFO, and EMBASE.

Results

Fourteen studies were reviewed and all except one were found to provide empirical support for an association between high catastrophizing and high fatigue. Most of these reviewed articles also show the large impact of catastrophizing on fatigue severity. Two longitudinal studies found that fatigue catastrophizing level before cancer treatment is a significant predictor of post-treatment fatigue. Studies also demonstrated that persons who had higher scores for catastrophizing recalled fatigue more accurately than those with lower scores.

Conclusion

In spite the differences of its definition and the measurements used, a similar significant association between catastrophizing and fatigue was reported. Because this observation was based on 14 studies with limited types of patients, further studies are recommended to examine the role of catastrophizing in fatigue from other clinical populations and to investigate its utility as a behavioural marker for central fatigue.

References

Lukkahatai N(1) and Saligan LN. Association of catastrophizing and fatigue: a systematic review. J Psychosom Res. 74(2):100-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2012.11.006. Feb 2013. Epub Dec 2 2012.

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