The experience of fatigue in neurological patients with multiple sclerosis: a thematic synthesis

Georgina Newton, Amy Griffiths, Andy Soundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
322 Downloads (Pure)



To identify the experiences that result from MS-related fatigue (MSRF) through a systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative literature.


The thematic synthesis was undertaken in three stages: (1) a systematic review of the literature, searching relevant databases from their inception to March 2016. (2) A critical appraisal of included studies, and (3) a double blind 2-phase synthesis of results was undertaken.


Participants were included from articles using primary and secondary care settings.


The synthesis included nine articles that incorporated a total of one hundred and fifty two participants (103 females and 49 males) were included in the review.


No articles were excluded following critical appraisal. Two major themes were synthesised: (1) biopsychosocial experiences of fatigue, which illustrated the physical, cognitive and social challenges patients experience (2) experiences that alter the impact of fatigue including the strategies individual employ to help manage fatigue. These major themes were further split into five subthemes.


Only the most common experiences of MSRF were identified. Findings did not break down results by key demographics e.g. disease type. Only English language studies were included.


Physiotherapists are able to support the management by: (a) having a greater understanding of MSRF and (b) being able to help patients manage the factors that influence it.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date25 Nov 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Nov 2016


  • Fatigue
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Qualitative
  • Synthesis
  • Experience


Dive into the research topics of 'The experience of fatigue in neurological patients with multiple sclerosis: a thematic synthesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this