Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Longitudinal relationships between fatigue and depression in cancer patients with depression and/or pain.

Brown LF, Rand KL, Bigatti SM, Stewart JC, Theobald DE, Wu J, Kroenke K. Longitudinal relationships between fatigue and depression in cancer patients with depression and/or pain. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association. 2013 Dec 1; 32(12):1199-208.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: Fatigue is one of the most common and debilitating symptoms reported by cancer patients, yet relatively little is understood about its etiology. Recently, as researchers have begun to focus attention on cancer-related fatigue (CRF), depression has emerged as its strongest correlate. Few longitudinal studies, however, have examined directionality of the relationship between the two symptoms. Our aim was to evaluate the directionality of the association between depression and CRF. METHOD: The study used a single-group cohort design of longitudinal data (N = 329) from a randomized controlled trial of an intervention for pain and depression in a heterogeneous sample of cancer patients. Participants met criteria for clinically significant pain and/or depression. Our hypothesis that depression would predict change in fatigue over 3 months was tested using latent variable cross-lagged panel analysis. RESULTS: Depressive symptoms and fatigue were strongly correlated in the sample (baseline correlation of latent variables = 0.71). Although the model showed good fit to the data, ?(2) (66, N = 329) = 88.16, p = .04, SRMR = 0.030, RMSEA = 0.032, and CFI = 1.00, neither structural path linking depression and fatigue was significant, suggesting neither symptom preceded and predicted the other. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings did not support hypotheses regarding the directionality of the relationship between depressive symptoms and fatigue. The clinical implication is that depression-specific treatments may not be sufficient to treat CRF and that instead, interventions specifically targeting fatigue are needed.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.