Persistent fatigue in well women

Women Health. 1995;23(1):57-72. doi: 10.1300/J013v23n01_04.


Fatigue is the subjective report of a sustained sense of exhaustion with reduced motivation and capacity for physical and/or mental activity. Although factors associated with fatigue have been explored in specific patient populations, minimal study has been devoted to exploring both the magnitude of fatigue and associated variables among women generally thought to be well. This cross-sectional, descriptive study examined the relationship of behavioral, socio-demographic, and emotional factors to subjective ratings of fatigue among women in the community who perceived themselves as being fatigued but otherwise healthy. A convenience sample of 155 adult women completed the Piper Fatigue Self-Report Scale (PFS), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and an investigator-designed questionnaire that collected behavioral and socio-demographic data. Correlation and regression analyses were used with fatigue as measured by the PFS as the outcome variable. Statistically significant relationships were noted between PFS and BDI scores as well as PFS and sleep pattern, rest quality, and perceived stress. Construction of a multiple regression model revealed an adjusted R2 of .43 with the BDI score serving as the major predictor variable for fatigue. Persistent fatigue is a consistent element in the lives of many women. As such it can significantly undermine women's quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fatigue / diagnosis
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwestern United States
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sleep
  • Social Class
  • Stress, Psychological