Professor Dr. Gitumoni Konwar, presently working as, Dean, of the School of Health Science, Assam Kaziranga University, India. Previously, Professor Konwar was working as Director, of Research, and Outreach, at the Faculty of Nursing, and Director, of the Faculty of Paramedical Sciences, The Assam downtown University, Guwahati, Assam, India. She also served as Dean, of the Royal School of Nursing and Dean, of the Royal School of Medical &Allied Sciences, The Assam Royal Global University, Guwahati, Assam, India. Professor Dr. Gitumoni Konwar has 25 years of leadership, management, communication, research, and Teaching. She has been conferred the “Education Leadership Award”, 2019, “Women Researcher Award”, “Distinguished Professor Award”, Best Researcher in Health care & Nursing, “Leadership Excellence in HealthCare Industry” and “Best Leadership Idea Generation award”, by MasterMinds Business School London, UK, etc. Prof. Konwar has more than 44 National & International research publications in her credit. Madam is taking leadership responsibility as Zonal Secretary of the Nursing Research Society of India.
The study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of programmed deep breathing exercises in reducing the level of fatigue during external radiation therapy in cancer patients in selected hospitals of Guwahati, Assam.
1. To analyze the effectiveness of programmed deep breathing exercises on the level of fatigue in cancer patients during external radiation therapy;
2. To determine the association between the level of fatigue with selected variables such as age, sex, marital status, education, occupation, religion, diagnosis, stage of cancer, duration of radiation therapy, etc.
An experimental study was carried out with a total of 60 cancer patients receiving external radiation therapy in Dr. B. Barooah Cancer Institute and North East Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, Guwahati, Assam were selected by adopting a simple random sampling technique and were randomly allotted into the experimental group and control group. The experimental group was given deep breathing exercises for 5 days and the level of fatigue was assessed by Cancer Fatigue Scale for both the groups at the end of 5 days.
Result & Analysis:
The study reflected that the highest number of patients were males in the control group (63.33%) and experimental group (56.67%). The majority of them were diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus in the control group (46.67%) and experimental group (40%) and had stage II cancer control group (60%) and experimental group (56.67%). It was reported that irrespective of demographic and disease variables, all cancer patients receiving external radiation therapy develop fatigue.
The level of fatigue was found to be significantly different between the control group and the experimental group after the implementation of deep breathing exercises (p= 0.02) and in all the three subscales of radiation-induced fatigue, physical subscale (p=0.03), affective subscale (p=0.01) and cognitive subscale (p=0.02). Among the demographic variables age of the patients (p=0.01), stage of cancer (p=0.03), and duration of radiation therapy (p=0.02) were significantly associated with the level of fatigue.
The results suggested that deep breathing exercises are an effective intervention in reducing fatigue among cancer patients and can be utilized by oncology nurses to improve the quality of life of cancer patients.
Keywords: Radiation therapy, fatigue, Cancer Fatigue Scale, Deep breathing exercises.