The impact of fatigue on patients with multiple sclerosis

Can J Neurol Sci. 1994 Feb;21(1):9-14.


Although fatigue is recognized as a symptom of MS, there have been insufficient methods for evaluating this symptom. We administered the Fatigue Impact Scale to 85 MS patients and 20 hypertensive patients. Neurologic impairment, mental health, and general health status were also assessed. MS patients reported significantly higher fatigue impact than hypertensive patients. Most MS patients reported fatigue as either their worst (14%), or one of their worst (55%) symptoms. Disease classification and neurologic impairment had little bearing on Fatigue Impact Scale scores in the MS sample. The best predictive models for mental health and general health status in the MS sample both included the Fatigue Impact Scale as a significant factor. This study demonstrates that: 1) fatigue is a very prevalent and severe problem in MS, 2) fatigue impact cannot be predicted by clinical measures of neurologic impairment, 3) fatigue has a significant effect on the mental health and general health status of MS patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / physiology
  • Aged
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Fatigue / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / psychology
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Surveys and Questionnaires