Fatigue Management Programme

The NHS Lothian Rheumatology Department offers a Fatigue Management Programme run by Nursing and Occupational Therapy (OT) staff.  The programme is offered to people with rheumatic diseases who have moderate to significant fatigue and who want to live better despite their fatigue. Fatigue is a common problem associated with rheumatic diseases such as LupusRheumatoid ArthritisAnkylosing Spondylitis and Sjogren’s Syndrome.

The group is interactive and allows you to meet others with fatigue and learn from others’ experiences of living with fatigue. Each week there will be practical tasks to practice and you will be asked to complete an activity/fatigue diary.

Research has shown that people attending these groups report decreased fatigue and that their fatigue has less impact on their lives. It has also been shown to improve coping and well-being (see reference below).

Hewlett, S., Almeida, C., Ambler, N., Blair, P.S., Choy, E.H., Dures, E., Hammond, A., Hollingworth, W., Kadir, B., Kirwan, J.R., Plummer, Z., Rooke, C., Thorn, J., Turner, N., Pollock, J., 2019. Reducing arthritis fatigue impact: two-year randomised controlled trial of cognitive behavioural approaches by rheumatology teams (RAFT). Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2018-214469

You will be invited to the group by your Rheumatology Team and you may be offered a pre group assessment to make sure it is the right therapy for you. Each session runs for 2 hours with a break in the middle. There is an example of the 6 week programme below. There will be approximately 8 people in the group. There is also a review session 12 weeks after the last session.

We are now able to offer this group programme virtually using the NHS Scotland Video Conferencing Platform. Depending on general and personal circumstances you may be offered this option rather than a face to face group session. You will still be able to interact with other participants using this platform and it is non recordable.  Data is not stored and you may take part anonymously.

Session Topic Location
1 What is fatigue? Western General Hospital/ Virtual Group
2 Thoughts, emotions and behaviours As above
3 Activity cycle
Planning Pacing
As above
4 Stress management
As above
5 Communication skills As above
6 Keeping active
Coping with set backs
As above
7 Review of programme and your progress As above