Validity of the multidimensional fatigue symptom inventory-short form in an African-American community-based sample

Ethn Health. 2014;19(6):631-44. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2014.885933. Epub 2014 Feb 17.

Abstract

Objectives: This study examined the psychometric properties of the Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory-Short Form (MFSI-SF) in a community-based sample of African-Americans.

Design: A sample of 340 African-Americans (116 men, 224 women) ranging in age from 18-81 years were recruited from the community (e.g., churches, health fairs, and beauty salons). Participants completed a brief demographic survey, the MFSI-SF and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule.

Results: The structural validity of the MFSI-SF for a community-based sample of African-Americans was not supported. The five dimensions of fatigue (General, Emotional, Physical, Mental, Vigor) found for Whites in prior research were not found for African-Americans in this study. Instead, fatigue, while multidimensional for African-Americans, was best represented by a unique four-four profile in which general and emotional fatigue are collapsed into a single dimension and physical fatigue, mental fatigue, and vigor are relatively distinct. Hence, in the absence of modifications, the MFSI-SF cannot be considered to be structurally invariant across ethnic groups. A modified four-factor version of the MFSI-SF exhibited excellent internal consistency reliability and evidence supports its convergent validity. Using the modified four-factor version, gender, and age were not meaningfully associated with MFSI-SF scores.

Conclusion: Future research should further examine whether modifications to the MFSI-SF would, as the findings suggest, improve its validity as a measure of multidimensional fatigue in African-Americans.

Keywords: African-American; community sample; factor analysis; fatigue; multidimensional fatigue symptom inventory; reliability; validity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • California / epidemiology
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Fatigue / diagnosis*
  • Fatigue / ethnology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Young Adult