Development and validation of a semi-structured clinical interview to allow reliable identification of post-cancer fatigue (PCF)

Start Year: 2008
Finish Year: 2012
Chief Investigator: Dr Barbara Bennett
Grant Type: Fellowships
Institution: University of New South Wales

Postdoctoral Training Fellowship

Alternative Title: Developing a reliable and reproducible method of identifying the symptoms of those at risk of prolonged disability following preventative cancer treatment

This study will develop an interview to reliably identify fatigue associated with breast cancer and its treatment. The diagnosis of a post-cancer fatigue syndrome (PCF) after breast cancer treatment is especially difficult as there is no specific measure or blood test. Such fatigue, which for some women may persist for many months after treatment, presents a unique challenge to survivors of breast cancer and their families.

A reliable method of identifying such fatigue and differentiating it from other problems (such as depression), which require alternative management, was an issue of importance to women treated for breast cancer and their medical practitioners.
Dr Bennett aims to develop an interview schedule comprised of carefully structured questions to enable health professionals to make an accurate diagnosis of post cancer fatigue (PCF) after breast cancer treatment.

This interview will measure how effective interventions, such as graded exercise programs, are in managing the fatigue state, as well as being an important tool to measure fatigue states in research studies, investigating the causes of cancer-related fatigue.