BACKGROUND Many patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) complain of significant fatigue. To date, no instrument to measure fatigue has been validated in a US inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) population. AIM To determine the reliability and validity of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F) scale in IBD. METHODS A total of 209 patients with IBD completed the 13 items of the FACIT-F, alongside laboratory testing and disease activity assessment. Internal consistency was measured by Cronbach's alpha; test-retest reliability by the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC); validity by the correlation of the FACIT-F score with C-reactive protein (CRP) erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), haematocrit (HCT) and disease activity as measured by the Harvey-Bradshaw Index (HBI; CD) and Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index (SCCAI; UC). RESULTS The mean ± SD FACIT-F score was 38.9 ± 11.0 overall (CD 38.6 ± 11.3; UC 39.4 ± 10.6). Cronbach's alpha was 0.94. The ICC for first and repeat FACIT-F scores assessed within 180 days without change in disease state was 0.81 (CD 0.78; UC 0.87). FACIT-F scores were lower in patients with active symptoms (CD 4.6 points, 95% CI 2.4-6.9, P < 0.001; UC 8.5 points, 95% CI 5.5-11.4, P < 0.001). In UC, FACIT-F scores were correlated with ESR (-0.76, 95% CI -0.89 to -0.50), CRP (-0.72, 95% CI -0.88 to -0.43) and HCT (0.53, 95% CI 0.22-0.74). CONCLUSION The FACIT-F scale is a reliable and valid instrument for measuring fatigue in IBD.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.