Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Cassy L. Taylor
Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a persistent and debilitating problem for many breast cancer survivors. Although many CRF measurement tools are available, no consensus exists on the most appropriate tool to use for breast cancer survivors. The purpose of this project was to identify the best method of assessing CRF in breast cancer survivors. The practice-focused question inquired about the most appropriate way to assess fatigue in breast cancer survivors. The central concepts of the project were CRF and cancer survivorship. This project was informed by the theory of health as expanding consciousness and Mishel's theory of uncertainty in illness. The sources of evidence included multi-database searches and literature from professional organizations. Results were tracked using preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and metasystems and a literature review matrix. The search identified 14 sources, which were assessed for quality using the grading of recommendations, assessment, development, and evaluation process. The results of this systematic review did not support the use of any particular assessment tool; however, 2 clinical practice guidelines recommended screening using a numerical severity scale followed by detailed assessment of clinically significant fatigue using available assessment tools. Screening can be implemented into the survivorship clinic, allowing nurses to identify potentially clinically significant fatigue so that further workup is done and interventions are implemented. Identifying, assessing, and intervening for clinically significant fatigue can improve the quality of life for breast cancer survivors, contributing to positive social change.