Chronic Fatigue and Occupational Stress in Patients in Rheumatic Rehabilitation
In many studies, the relationship between chronic fatigue and perceived occupational stress in patients in rheumatic rehabilitation has been pointed out. The fatigue was usually analyzed on the basis of 1-dimensional methods. It has to be clarified whether a multi-dimensional view of chronic fatigue (physical and mental) allows differentiated statements on the connections to and courses of perceived occupational stress.
In a one-group pre-post-design with 6-month and 12-month follow up data from n=138 (mean age 48.9 years, 48% female) patients of a rheumatological rehabilitation clinic with inflammatory or degenerative rheumatic disease (ICD -10: M02 to M79) and M79.7 fibromyalgia syndrome as first or second diagnosis were assessed. Chronic fatigue was assessed with the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI), occupational stress with the Work-related behavior and experience (AVEM).
Compared to the healthy reference sample, the patients had above-average scores in the MFI. The expenditure (AVEM) is below average for six and 12 months after rehabilitation. Other scales, e. g. resignation tendency, offensive problem management, inner peace/balance, life satisfaction as well as the experience of social support are above the norm. Over the course of the observation period, me-dium-term and long-term improvements/increases in the AVEM values show a health-promoting attitude to occupational stress. There are differentiated correlations between fatigue and occupational stress.
The results show that the increase in information is the result of a multidimensional measurement of fatigue and corresponding connections to occupational burden. This allows specific statements on the optimization of rheumatic rehabilitation.
Patients in rheumatic rehabilitation show a high de-gree of fatigue. Specific correlations between physical and mental fatigue and perceived occupational stress are shown, which indicates special therapeutic needs. In addition, patients in rheumatic rehabilitation could benefit from screening for chronic fatigue and a comprehensive medical history interview. It would also be advisable to intensify cognitive behavioral therapies for the treatment of fatigue.