Fatigue secondary to chronic illness: postpolio syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple sclerosis

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1994 Oct;75(10):1122-6. doi: 10.1016/0003-9993(94)90088-4.


Estimates of the percentage of patients with postpolio syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple sclerosis who experience fatigue range from approximately 75% to 100%. In this study we describe the severity of fatigue and its impact on subjects with these three diagnoses. The Fatigue Severity Scale, the Human Activity Profile, and the Nottingham Health Profile were used to measure fatigue, activity, and health status respectively of each diagnostic group as well as a control group. Using a Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance followed by a Bonferroni-adjusted Mann Whitney U test all diagnostic groups reported significantly higher levels (p = .0000 to p = .002) of fatigue and lower perceived health status than the control group. Subjects with chronic fatigue and multiple sclerosis also had significantly reduced activity levels (p = .002 to p = .01) compared with the control group. Further attention should be directed toward understanding the relationship between fatigue and ability to engage in activities as well as strategies for remediation and/or compensation of the fatigue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Fatigue / physiopathology*
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric