Assessment of fatigue is multidimensional in nature, and a number of tools originally developed for fatigue research have also been used in clinical practice. Most of these tools include symptom dimensions other than fatigue intensity, such as the impact or consequences of fatigue, timing of fatigue, related symptoms, and self-care actions.[2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10] Research has also contributed a validated 10-item measure for children.
However, much of the time in clinical practice, because of perceived provider/patient burden, screening most often relies on a single-item fatigue intensity rating.[12,13,14,15] According to National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines, ratings of fatigue of 4 or higher on a scale of 0 to 10 (where 10 is very severe fatigue) are further evaluated for known contributing factors such as pain, emotional distress, anemia, sleep, nutrition, and level of activity. These comorbidities are then treated. One study of ambulatory outpatients with solid tumors (N = 148) evaluated the usefulness of single-item screening for symptoms such as fatigue and pain. Investigators found that the single-item assessment can assist as a first screening step to identify patients requiring comprehensive assessment of symptoms. Patients identified by using single-item screening tools undergo comprehensive assessments to detect clinically relevant symptomatology.[12,13]
Incidence and Mortality
Vulvar cancer accounts for about 5% of cancers of the female genital system in the United States.
Estimated new cases and deaths from vulvar cancer in the United States in 2014:
New cases: 4,850.
The vulva is the area immediately external to the vagina, including the mons pubis, labia, clitoris, Bartholin glands, and perineum. The labia majora are the most common site of vulvar carcinoma involvement and account for about 50% of cases...
Ambiguous literature and a previous lack of specific tools to measure fatigue have created difficulties in establishing assessment and management guidelines. Comprehensive assessment of the fatigued patient starts with obtaining a careful history to characterize the individual's fatigue pattern and to identify all factors that contribute to its development. The following may be included in the initial assessment:
Self-report of fatigue pattern, including onset, duration, intensity, and aggravating and alleviating factors.
Type and degree of disease- and of treatment-related symptoms and/or side effects.