Purpose. To develop an in-depth understanding of how survivors of acquired brain injury (ABI) experience fatigue and how fatigue affects everyday life. Materials and methods. We conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with 16 adults with ABI fatigue, recruited from support groups in south east UK. Interviews were analysed using the frameworks method. Results. We developed four themes: experiencing fatigue in the context of everyday activities, struggling to make sense of fatigue, coping with fatigue, adjusting social participation in the context of fatigue. Fatigue was comprised of mental, physical, generalised and motivational fatigue. Balancing fatigue against participation in daily activities was influenced by coping strategies and social support. Opportunities to socialize or participate in meaningful activities provided incentives for participants to push through their fatigue. Conclusions. This study highlights complex interactions that potentially mitigate the impact of fatigue on everyday life. Educational and self-management approaches to fatigue need to account for different types of fatigue in the contexts of an individual’s daily activity. Assessment of fatigue should capture in- the- moment experiences of different types of fatigue and activity. Social support and participation in meaningful activities may help individuals to break the negative cycle of fatigue and inactivity.
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Ezekiel, LeisleField, LeanneCollett, JohnnyDawes, HelenBoulton, Mary
Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work
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