Legitimising fatigue after breast-cancer treatment

Peter Mackereth, Joy Bardy, Jenny Finnegan-John, Carole Farrell, Alexandros Molasiotis

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to explore the experience of women living with fatigue following chemotherapy for breast cancer. Six focus groups were conducted (n=40); all participants had taken part in a multi-site acupuncture trial. There were three to seven people per focus group. Additionally, two people attended one-to-one interviews and four people provided written responses to the trigger questions. The audiotapes from these sessions were transcribed and analysed using a thematic approach. Participants raised concerns about fatigue possibly being a symptom of the cancer coming back or a sign of senility. Respondents described the effects of fatigue on relationships, sexuality, social life, home life and returning to work. The Coping with Fatigue booklet (Macmillan Cancer Support, 2011) was discussed in terms of legitimising the experience of cancer-related fatigue and explaining symptoms to family and work colleagues. More research work is required to evaluate non-pharmaceutical interventions and advice to support women living with fatigue after chemotherapy for breast cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S4-S12
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Fatigue
  • Focus groups
  • Women and information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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