The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of occupational therapist-/physiotherapist-guided fatigue self-management for individuals with chronic conditions.
Eight databases, including MEDLINE and EMBASE, were searched until September 2019 to identify relevant studies. Randomised controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies of self-management interventions specifically developed or delivered by occupational therapists/physiotherapists to improve fatigue symptoms of individuals with chronic conditions were included. A narrative synthesis and meta-analysis were conducted to determine the effectiveness of fatigue self-management.
Thirty-eight studies were included, and fatigue self-management approaches led by occupational therapists/physiotherapists were divided into six categories based on the intervention focus: exercise, energy conservation, multimodal programmes, activity pacing, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and comprehensive fatigue management. While all exercise programmes reported significant improvement in fatigue, other categories showed both significant improvement and no improvement in fatigue. Meta-analysis yielded a standardised mean difference of the overall 13 studies: 0.42 (95% confidence interval:−0.62 to − 0.21); standardised mean difference of the seven exercise studies was −0.55 (95% confidence interval: −0.78 to −0.31).
Physical exercises inspired by the self-management principles may have positive impacts on fatigue symptoms, quality of life, and other functional abilities.