Mini-Review| Volume 26, ISSUE 5, P252-256, October 2013

Fatigue in Adolescents

  • Martin Fisher
    Address correspondence to: Martin Fisher, MD, Division of Adolescent Medicine, 410 Lakeville Rd, Ste 108, New Hyde Park, NY 11042; Phone: (516) 465-5459; fax: (516) 465-5299
    Division of Adolescent Medicine, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, and Hofstra North Shore-Long Island Jewish School of Medicine, New York, USA
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Published:April 05, 2012DOI:
      It is the rare adolescent who does not complain of fatigue at some point during the teen years. For most, their schedules and lifestyles lead to sleep deficits on a regular basis, with the occurrence of minor viral illnesses often exacerbating the situation. By and large, adolescents continue to function in their daily activities despite whatever fatigue they are experiencing. When the complaint of fatigue is raised by the patient or parent in the physician’s office, it implies there may be something out of the ordinary about the degree of fatigue being experienced by that adolescent, and the complaint becomes worthy of attention. It can be the symptom of an underlying medical condition, a psychological or psychiatric difficulty, or a specific sleep disorder. This review provides a framework for evaluating the complaint of fatigue in adolescents and offers approaches to management. This communication is based on the author’s personal experience in the clinical management of fatigue in adolescents and draws from the growing literature on the subject. Two particularly useful recent references on this topic are the December 2010 edition of Adolescent Medicine: State of the Art Reviews on Sleep and Sleep Disorders in Adolescents
      • Sass A.E.
      • Kaplan D.W.
      Sleep and sleep disorders in adolescents.
      and the June 2011 edition of Pediatric Clinics of North America, which provides a Pediatric Sleep Medicine Update.
      • Owens J.A.
      • Mindell J.A.
      Pediatric sleep medicine update.
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