Measuring fatigue in Parkinson's disease: a psychometric study of two brief generic fatigue questionnaires

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2006 Nov;32(5):420-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2006.05.021.


This study evaluated and compared the measurement properties of the 13-item Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue Scale (FACIT-F) and the 9-item Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) in 118 consecutive Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, using traditional and Rasch measurement methodologies. Both questionnaires exhibited excellent data quality and reliability (coefficient alpha>or=0.9), and acceptable rating scale functionality, and both discriminated between fatigued and nonfatigued patients. Factor and Rasch analyses provided general support for unidimensionality of both FACIT-F and FSS, although they do not appear to measure identical aspects of fatigue. No signs of differential item functioning (DIF) were found for the FACIT-F, whereas potential age DIF was detected for two FSS items. These results support the measurement validity of both questionnaires in PD, although the FACIT-F displayed better measurement precision and modest psychometric advantages over the FSS. Availability of psychometrically sound fatigue measures that are applicable across disorders provides a sound basis for advancing the understanding of this common and distressing complaint.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fatigue / diagnosis*
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*