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I'm So Tired: Evidence-Based Behavioral Interventions for Cancer-Related Fatigue

Patrice Al-Shatti, MSW, LMSW
Recorded on August 16, 2017

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About the Webinar

Fatigue is the symptom most frequently reported by individuals with cancer. 65-99% of patients receiving systemic therapy experience it and it continues to be a problem for up to two years after treatment for many. Social workers provide counseling for the psychological distress generated by fatigue but we have historically lacked a way to truly have an impact on this quality of life impairment. The good news, however, is that the best strategies to fight cancer-related fatigue involve behavioral change, and this is an arena in which we shine. 

We will discuss contributing factors and review an original biopsychosocial model for conceptualizing patient fatigue. We will also review the four basic behavioral strategies for treating fatigue:  physical exercise, energy conservation and activity planning, sleep hygiene, and counseling, specifically CBT, guided imagery, and patient education to impact one’s personal representation of fatigue as a state of being. Webinar participants will gain strategies that are uniquely suited to our skills as coaches and problem-solvers. Cancer-related fatigue is not entirely outside the patient’s control but rather is a complex phenomenon caused by many factors, and there are many things that most patients can do to improve their quality of life during and after treatment.  

Learning Objectives

At the end of the presentation, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the factors that contribute to cancer-related fatigue (CRF).
  • Describe the biopsychosocial model of Cancer Related Fatigue Syndrome.
  • Demonstrate how to guide patients through the process of assessing their unique fatigue issues.
  • Discuss four evidence-based interventions that are proven to assist patients in overcoming the condition.


Patrice Al-Shatti is a retired medical social worker and oncology social work leader. Over a long career she counseled families facing medical crises, facilitated support groups, served as a university field instructor, managed staff and programs, developed support services and educational materials, and led the quality of life efforts of the Arizona Cancer Control Coalition. She is past Communications Director for the Association of Oncology Social Work and is a frequent conference presenter. She developed the first patient education materials, assessments, and programming on the topic of Cancer-Related Fatigue Syndrome for the Mayo Clinic and presented this information to patient groups, medical teams, and at healthcare conferences.

Continuing Education Credits

Level - Intermediate
Participants will earn 1.5 CE credits upon successful completion of a quiz and a post-webinar evaluation.