Chronicity and Remission of Fatigue in Patients with Established HIV Infection

Brian Wells Pence, Julie Barroso, James L. Harmon, Jane Leserman, Naima Salahuddin, Bradley G. Hammill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Fatigue is one of the most common and debilitating complaints of HIV-positive individuals, potentially leading to important functional limitations. We recruited 128 HIV-positive individuals (fatigued and nonfatigued) between March 2005 and May 2006; 66% were male, 66% were African American, 45% had greater than a high school education, 67% were unemployed, and ages ranged from 26-66 (median, 44). Every 3 months for 15 months, participants completed a 56-item self-report fatigue scale developed and validated by the authors. Participants were classified as fatigued or not fatigued at each assessment and received scores for fatigue intensity and impact of fatigue on functioning. We used linear mixed-effects models to assess longitudinal variation in fatigue scores and generalized estimating equations for binary outcomes to model predictors of fatigue remission among those fatigued at baseline. At baseline, 88% of the sample was fatigued. Fatigue measures were highly correlated across time points (ρ 0.63-0.85 [intensity], 0.63-0.80 [functioning]) and showed no evidence of overall improvement, deterioration, or convergence over time. Predictors of lower fatigue scores included higher income, employment, longer time since HIV diagnosis, and antiretroviral therapy use. Those employed at baseline were likely to show improvements in fatigue while those unemployed were not. Of those fatigued at baseline, 11% experienced remission during follow-up; remission was associated with Caucasian race and employment. In summary, fatigue intensity and related functional limitations were persistent, stable, and unlikely to remit over 15 months of follow-up in this sample of patients with established HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-244
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS patient care and STDs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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