The fatigue impact scale (FIS) was developed to improve our understanding of the effects of fatigue on quality of life. The FIS examines patients' perceptions of the functional limitations that fatigue has caused over the past month. FIS items reflect perceived impact on cognitive, physical, and psychosocial functioning. This study compared 145 patients referred for investigation of chronic fatigue (ChF) with 105 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and 34 patients with mild hypertension (HT). Internal consistency for the FIS and its three subscales was > .87 for all analyses. Fatigue impact was highest for the ChF group although the MS group's reported fatigue also exceeded that of the HT group. Discriminant function analysis correctly classified 80.0% of the ChF group and 78.1% of the MS group when these groups were compared. This initial validation study indicates that the FIS has considerable merit as a measure of patient's attribution of functional limitations to symptoms of fatigue.