Patterns and predictors of cancer-related fatigue in ovarian and endometrial cancers: 1-year longitudinal study

Hanneke Poort*, Belle H de Rooij, Hajime Uno, Shicheng Weng, Nicole P M Ezendam, Lonneke van de Poll-Franse, Alexi A Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)



Fatigue is a common and distressing symptom for patients with gynecologic cancers. Few studies have empirically examined whether it spontaneously resolves. This study was aimed at identifying longitudinal patterns of fatigue and predictors of clinically significant fatigue 1 year after treatment completion.


This was a prospective cohort study of women with newly diagnosed ovarian (n = 81) or endometrial cancer (n = 181) that did not progress or recur within 1 year of treatment completion. Symptoms of fatigue, depression, and anxiety were assessed after surgery and 6 and 12 months after treatment completion with the Fatigue Assessment Scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Patients' fatigue scores over time were classified (scores of 22-50, clinically significant; scores of 10-21, not clinically significant). Logistic regression models were fit to examine associations between fatigue and patient characteristics.


Among 262 participants, 48% reported clinically significant fatigue after surgery. One year later, 39% reported fatigue. There were 6 patterns over time: always low (37%), always high (25%), high then resolves (18%), new onset (10%), fluctuating (6%), and incidental (5%). Patients with fatigue after surgery were more likely to report fatigue at 12 months in comparison with others (odds ratio [OR], 6.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.82-13.11; P < .001). Patients with depressive symptoms also had higher odds of fatigue (OR, 3.36; 95% CI, 1.08-10.65; P = .039), although only one-third of fatigued patients reported depressive symptoms.


Nearly half of women with gynecologic cancers had clinically significant fatigue after surgery, whereas 44% and 39% had fatigue 6 months and 1 year later; this suggests that spontaneous regression of symptoms is relatively rare. Women who reported fatigue, depressive symptoms, or 2 or more medical comorbidities had higher odds of reporting fatigue 1 year later. Future studies should test scalable interventions to improve fatigue in women with gynecologic cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3526-3533
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • cancer-related fatigue
  • endometrial cancer
  • fallopian tube cancer
  • fatigue
  • late effects
  • longitudinal studies
  • ovarian cancer
  • posttreatment symptoms
  • primary peritoneal cancer
  • survivorship

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