Application of the multidimensional fatigue inventory (MFI-20) in cancer patients receiving radiotherapy

Br J Cancer. 1996 Jan;73(2):241-5. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1996.42.


In this paper the psychometric properties of the multidimensional fatigue inventory (MFI-20) are established further in cancer patients. The MFI is a 20-item self-report instrument designed to measure fatigue. It covers the following dimensions: general fatigue, physical fatigue, reduced activity, reduced motivation and mental fatigue. The instrument was used in a Dutch and Scottish sample of cancer patients receiving radiotherapy. The dimensional structure was assessed using confirmatory factor analyses (Lisrel's unweighted least-squares method). The hypothesised five-factor model appeared to fit the data in both samples (adjusted goodness of fit; AGFI: 0.97 and 0.98). Internal consistency of the separate scales was good in both the Dutch and Scottish samples with Cronbach's alpha coefficients ranging from 0.79 to 0.93. Construct validity was assessed by correlating the MFI-20 to activities of daily living, anxiety and depression. Significant relations were assumed. Convergent validity was investigated by correlating the MFI scales with a visual analogue scale measuring fatigue and with a fatigue-scale derived from the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist. Results support the validity of the MFI-20. The highly similar results in the Dutch and Scottish sample suggest that the portrayal of fatigue using the MFI-20 is quite robust.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Fatigue / diagnosis*
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Male
  • Manifest Anxiety Scale
  • Mental Fatigue / diagnosis*
  • Mental Fatigue / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Netherlands
  • Psychometrics*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Scotland
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / psychology
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / radiotherapy