Energy Conservation & Work Simplification Techniques:

Activities of daily living (ADLs) are the tasks that you perform everyday. They include everything that you do in a day such as washing, dressing, housework, employment & leisure activities. All ADLs require the body to draw on its energy.

By making simple changes to your routine or minor adaptations to your environment, it is possible to reduce your fatigue levels significantly & allow you to do more.

The main principles of fatigue management include:

  1. Set up proper working conditions:
    • Sit whenever possible
    • Adopt a good posture by setting up a work height that is appropriate for the job
    • Plan ahead & collect all necessary tools/equipment before starting a task
    • Schedule frequent breaks within the task
    • Work in pleasant surroundings
  2. Avoid unnecessary motions:
    • Use wheels or slide objects rather than lifting & carrying
    • Clean up areas as you go along to avoid a major clean up
    • Arrange sequence of jobs to decrease repetition of movement
  3. Avoid rushing:
    • Pace yourself
    • Use a slow relaxed speed
    • Work to music if necessary
    • Remember to schedule time for frequent rest breaks

It is important for relatives, friends & employers to understand your fatigue patterns & the principles you are following to manage your fatigue. This may enable them to help you make these lifestyle adjustments.

Abnormal levels of fatigue may persist indefinitely after transplant, becoming a chronic complication.  The intensity of fatigue may decrease after immediate recovery, but studies report fatigue is still the most distressing symptom one year following liver transplant, that a substantial number of LTx recipients still experience high levels of fatigue after two years, and that high fatigue levels do not decrease over time (Belle et al., 1997)(Gross et al., 2004)(Leyendecker, 1993)(Van Ginneken et al., 2010)(van den Berg-Emons, Kazemier, et al., 2006), (van den Berg-Emons, van Ginneken, et al., 2006),

 

 Proper breathing during activity:

  • Never hold your breath during activity
  • Inhale when lifting your arms up or when extending the trunk
  • Exhale when bringing arms down & when bending the trunk
  • Exhale also during any physical exertion (don’t hold your breath)

Body mechanics:

  • Use the strongest muscle groups during activity
  • Push or pull & use wheels under objects whenever possible
  • When lifting make sure you bend your knees & place a chair by your side to help if necessary
  • When lifting keep objects close to your body
  • When climbing stairs: Walk on the whole foot, Use hand rail for support ii.Pause at least 1 second between each step

Although some researchers suggests that after transplantation, recipients’ sleep patterns improve to a level comparable to that of the general population, others have found that sleep disturbances are the most common problem post-transplant, and that 3 years post-transplantation a 20% impairment persists in patients’ sleep quality.  

Post-transplant, high body mass index and anxious mood appear to coexist with poor sleep quality (Bonsel et al., 1996)(Lowe, O’grady, McEwen, & Williams, 1990)(Rodrigue et al., 2011)

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