Perceptions of fatigue in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or sarcoidosis

A.E.M. Bloem*, R.L.M. Mostard, N. Stoot, J.H. Vercoulen, J.B. Peters, M.A. Spruit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Fatigue is highly prevalent in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) or sarcoidosis. However, the difference in fatigue perceptions for these patients is unknown and this may be important to better understand what fatigue means to the individual patient. Methods: This cross-sectional quantitative study aims to determine the different perceptions of fatigue as 'frustrating', 'exhausting', 'pleasant', 'frightening' using the Fatigue Quality List and to assess determinants related to these perceptions of fatigue. Beside the fatigue quality connotations, demographics, lung function, fatigue severity (Checklist Individual Strength subscale Fatigue), dyspnea (modified-Medical Research Council), fatigue catastrophizing (Fatigue Catastrophizing Scale), anxiety/depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) and general health status (EuroQoL 5-dimension 5-level) were assessed. Results: Mean frequency score of fatigue-related perceptions in patients with IPF was 3.4 points and in patients with sarcoidosis 4.0 points. Severely fatigued patients with IPF reported their fatigue less 'pleasant' significantly more often than patients without severe fatigue. Fatigue severity, dyspnea, catastrophizing and general health were significantly correlated with the negative connotation categories of the Fatigue Quality List in patients with IPF. Severely fatigued sarcoidosis patients reported their fatigue perceptions significantly more often as 'frustrating', 'exhausting', 'frightening' and less 'pleasant' than patients without severe fatigue. Moreover, in patients with sarcoidosis fatigue severity, dyspnea, catastrophizing and depression were significantly associated with all four categories of the Fatigue Quality List that describe the experienced fatigue (P<0.05). Conclusions: The current findings of experiences of fatigue in patients with IPF or pulmonary sarcoidosis provide insights for professionals treating these patients. Although similarities were found in the several experiences of fatigue across non-severely and severely fatigued patients, differences were also evident and could be mapped for IPF and sarcoidosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4872-4884
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
  • sarcoidosis
  • fatigue
  • perceptions

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