Exploring the validity of the Chalder Fatigue scale in chronic fatigue syndrome

J Psychosom Res. 1998 Nov;45(5):411-7. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(98)00022-1.


The Chalder fatigue scale is widely used to measure physical and mental fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome patients, but the constructs of the scale have not been examined in this patient sample. We examined the constructs of the 14-item fatigue scale in a sample of 136 chronic fatigue syndrome patients through principal components analysis, followed by correlations with measures of subjective and objective cognitive performance, physiological measures of strength and functional work capacity, depression, anxiety, and subjective sleep difficulties. There were four factors of fatigue explaining 67% of the total variance. Factor 1 was correlated with subjective everyday cognitive difficulties, concentration difficulties, and a deficit in paired associate learning. Factor 2 was correlated with difficulties in maintaining sleep. Factor 3 was inversely correlated with grip strength, peak VO2, peak heart rate, and peak functional work capacity. Factor 4 was correlated with interview and self-rated measures of depression. The results support the validity of mental and physical fatigue subscales and the dropping of the "loss of interest" item in the 11-item version of the fatigue scale.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology