Developing a fatigue programme: Protocol for the Nottingham Fatigue After Stroke (NotFAST2) study
das Nair, Roshan
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Introduction: Post-stroke fatigue is common and is one of the most distressing symptoms after stroke. It has a negative impact on physical, social and psychological functioning; it is also associated with poor outcomes and increased mortality. The effective management of post-stroke fatigue is therefore regarded as a clinical priority. Method: This study will use a mixed-methods design with three overlapping phases. Phase 1 will be a survey of existing fatigue management within the United Kingdom. In phase 2, interviews and focus groups will be conducted with stroke survivors with fatigue, carers and clinicians to determine strategies used to manage fatigue successfully. In phase 3, data from phases 1 and 2 will contribute to the co-design of a fatigue management programme with the NotFAST2 study Patient and Public Involvement group. This will be further refined through subsequent focus groups, which will include those with fatigue associated with other health conditions. Results: Survey data will be analysed using descriptive statistics. Interview and focus group data will be analysed using a framework approach. Conclusion: Post-stroke fatigue requires a comprehensive management programme necessitating input from key stakeholders. A post-stroke fatigue programme will be developed which will be tested in a future randomised controlled trial.