A qualitative exploration of physical, mental and ocular fatigue in patients with primary Sjögren's Syndrome

Stack, R.J. ORCID: 0000-0002-0516-0228, Southworth, S., Fisher, B.A., Barone, F., Buckley, C.D., Rauz, S. and Bowman, S.J., 2017. A qualitative exploration of physical, mental and ocular fatigue in patients with primary Sjögren's Syndrome. PLoS ONE, 12 (10), e0187272. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Introduction
Primary Sjögren's Syndrome (pSS) affects exocrine glands such as those producing the tear film, leading to dry and painful eyes, but is also associated with fatigue. The experience of fatigue in pSS, and its relationship with sicca symptoms, is poorly understood.
Methods
Twenty people diagnosed with pSS were recruited to participate in a semi-structured qualitative interview about their symptoms experience. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis.
Results
People with pSS described physical tiredness, mental fatigue and ocular fatigue. Mental fatigue was characterised by difficulties in attention, particularly, the ability to follow conversations and short-term memory problems. Participants linked their experience of fatigue to feeling of depression, frustration, irritation and anxiety, and therefore, fatigue was suggested to have had a large impact on their psychological well-being. People with pSS also described a range of ocular symptoms including pain, dryness, and itching, which were compounded by fatigue. For some, eye fatigue was pervasive, and daily activities involving the eyes such as reading, using the computer and driving were impaired. In some cases, the level of ocular discomfort was so severe it prevented sleep, which in turn impacted on general fatigue levels.
Conclusions
People with pSS experience fatigue in a range of ways; physical, mental and ocular fatigue were described. Fatigue was suggested to exacerbate other ocular symptoms, posed serious physical limitations and caused psychological distress. Further research into the nature of fatigue and ocular symptoms in pSS is required.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: PLoS ONE
Creators: Stack, R.J., Southworth, S., Fisher, B.A., Barone, F., Buckley, C.D., Rauz, S. and Bowman, S.J.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date: 31 October 2017
Volume: 12
Number: 10
ISSN: 1932-6203
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1371/journal.pone.0187272DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 06 Nov 2017 11:17
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2017 11:17
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31977

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