Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Abstract Introduction: Fatigue is a common symptom of heart failure which can be distressing for patients and negatively impact both their quality of life and prognosis. We report the efficacy of self-management strategies for people with heart failure-related fatigue. Methods and results: We searched the MEDLINE, Psychinfo, Emcare and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) databases from inception to August 2021 for relevant trials. Twenty-two papers were included describing 21 trials (15 RCTs), comprising 515 participants. Definitions of interventions are given and were grouped as either supported self-management or self-management interventions. Supported self-management included education and person-centred care interventions (n=5). Self-management interventions included mind-body therapies (10), and diet and supplements (6). The Cochrane risk of bias did not show significant high risk across the domains, however the number of participants recruited was small. There was heterogeneity in intervention type, delivery and outcome measures preventing meta-analysis. Evidence for supported self-management interventions involving education and a person-centred approach, and self-management interventions such as CBT, mindfulness, and some supplements for heart failure-related fatigue is positive, but is limited to individual, small trials. Only eight trials provided a definition of fatigue, and 11 types of fatigue outcome measures were used. Conclusion: The evidence base for the efficacy of supported self-management and self-management interventions for alleviating heart failure-related fatigue is modest in both study number, size, and quality. Further well-designed trials are needed, along with consensus work on fatigue definitions and reporting.

More information Original publication



Journal article


NIHR Open Research


NIHR Open Res 2022, 2:63


F1000 Research Limited

Publication Date





Grant information: This work was supported by the National Institute for Health Research School of Primary Care Research (NIHR SPCR) as part of the Evidence Synthesis Working Group (ESWG) [Project Number 461].


heart failure, fatigue, self-management, systematic review