Factors Affecting Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Background: Fatigue is the most common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS) with several affecting factors, including physical activities, disturbance in sleep pattern, stress and environmental factors. Purpose: To analyse factors affecting fatigue in a sample of MS patients. Method: 120 consecutive MS patients were interviewed about possible trigger factors for fatigue. Results: The most common group of factors affecting fatigue was daily activities and responsibilities, followed by environmental factors, stress and febrile illnesses. Other factors such as lack of sleep and physical activities were also cited. Physical activities caused fatigue in 58.3 %, daily activities and responsibilities in 98.3 %, and 90 % reported emotional stress as a trigger factor. 88.3 % related some sleep problems as a trigger factor. Regarding environmental factors such as hot/humid weather conditions were reported by 92.5 %. About 89.2 % of the patients reported that their level of fatigue increased by having a feverish illness. Conclusion: Factors affecting fatigue are frequent in MS patients, their avoidance may decrease fatigue frequency and also improve patients' quality of life.