Author(s): Ferrando S, Evans S, Goggin K, Sewell M, Fishman B, , Ferrando S, Evans S, Goggin K, Sewell M, Fishman B,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of clinical fatigue reported by gay/bisexual men at all HIV illness stages, and whether fatigue, while associated with depression, independently contributes to limitations in physical function and disability. METHOD: HIV- men, HIV+ men with CD4 counts >500, HIV+ men with CD4 counts 200 to 500, and men with AIDS were compared on prevalence of clinical fatigue, as defined by a standardized instrument. Among HIV+ men, the relationships among fatigue, depressed mood, major depressive disorder, HIV illness markers (including CD4 count and HIV RNA viral load), physical limitations, and disability were assessed at baseline and after 1 year. RESULTS: The prevalence of clinical fatigue in men with CD4 counts <500 was 14\%, significantly higher than HIV- men and HIV+ men with CD4 counts >500. However, fatigue was not directly correlated with CD4 count or HIV RNA. Fatigue was a chronic symptom that was associated with depressed mood, major depressive disorder, physical limitations, and disability. After 1 year, an increase in depressive symptoms predicted a small amount of variance in fatigue; however, depressive symptoms were not associated with physical limitations or disability after controlling for fatigue. CONCLUSION: Fatigue is a chronic symptom that is more prevalent in advanced HIV illness, and which, although associated with depression, does not seem to be merely a symptom of depression. Because fatigue contributes independently to physical limitations and disability, it should be assessed and treated.
This article was published in Psychosom Med
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research