The Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI) is a 20-item self-report instrument designed to measure fatigue. It covers the following dimensions: General Fatigue, Physical Fatigue, Mental Fatigue, Reduced Motivation and Reduced Activity. This new instrument was tested for its psychometric properties in cancer patients receiving radiotherapy, patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome, psychology students, medical students, army recruits and junior physicians. We determined the dimensional structure using confirmatory factor analyses (LISREL's unweighted least squares method). The hypothesized five-factor model appeared to fit the data in all samples tested (AGFIs > 0.93). The instrument was found to have good internal consistency, with an average Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.84. Construct validity was established after comparisons between and within groups, assuming differences in fatigue based on differences in circumstances and/or activity level. Convergent validity was investigated by correlating the MFI-scales with a Visual Analogue Scale measuring fatigue (0.22 < r < 0.78). Results, by and large, support the validity of the MFI.