People with disabilities frequently experience fatigue. Physical and
emotional weariness may be caused by discomfort and pain associated with a
chronic health problem, deconditioning associ-ated with prolonged periods of
bed rest and immobility, impaired motor function requiring excessive
expenditure of energy to am-bulate, and the frustrations of performing ADLs.
Ineffective cop-ing with the disability, unresolved grief, and depression can
also contribute to fatigue. The patient can use coping strategies to manage the
psychological impact of the disability and pain man-agement techniques to
control the associated discomforts. In addition, the nurse can teach the
patient to manage fatigue through priority setting and energy-conserving
techniques. Special teaching strate-gies for patients with disabilities are
included in Chart 11-10.