COSMIN database

The assessment of fatigue: a practical guide for clinicians and researchers

Dittner, A. J., Wessely, S. C., and Brown, R. G.
OBJECTIVES: Fatigue is a common feature of physical and neurological disease as well as psychiatric disorders, often reported amongst patients' most severe and distressing symptoms. A large number of scales have been developed attempting to measure the nature, severity and impact of fatigue in a range of clinical populations. The aim of the present review is to guide the clinician and researcher in choosing a scale to suit their needs.

METHODS: Database searches of Medline, PsycINFO and EMBASE were undertaken to find published scales.

RESULTS: Details of 30 scales are reported. These vary greatly in how widely they have been used and how well they have been evaluated. The present review describes the scales and their properties and provides illustrations of their use in published studies.

CONCLUSIONS: Recommendations are made for the selection of a scale and for the development and validation of new and existing scales.
J Psychosom Res
0022-3999 (Print)
Publication year:
Symptom status:
Cognitive/mental state
Physical state
Functional status:
Physical functioning
Adults (18-65)
Seniors (65+)
Certain infections and parasitic diseases and related symptoms
Diseases of and symptoms related to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
Diseases of and symptoms related to the nervous system
Diseases of and symptoms related to the respiratory system
Mental and behavioural disorders and related symptoms
Neoplasms and related symptoms
PRO / non-PRO:
Non-patient Reported Outcome
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
6 - Clinical rating scales
BFI - Brief Fatigue Inventory (versions: MBFI - ModiefiedBFI))
CFS - Cancer Fatigue Scale
CFS - Chalder Fatigue Scale [alias: FQ - Fatigue Questionnaire][alias: FRS - Fatigue Rating Scale]
CGAS - Children's Global Assessment Scale
CIS - Checklist Individual Strength (versions: CIS-20; CIS-20R)   
CRFDS - Cancer-Related Fatigue Distress Scale
FACES - Fatigue, Anergia, Consciousness, Energized and Sleepiness Adjective (FACES) checklist
FACT-F - Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Fatigue
FAI / FSI - Fatigue Assessment Instrument (FAI) = Fatigue Severity Inventory (FSI)
FDS - Fatigue Descriptive Scale
FIS / FFSS - Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS) or Fisk Fatigue Severity Score (FFSS)
FSCL - Fatigue Symptom Checklist
FSS - Krupp Fatigue Severity Scale
GVA - Global Vigour and Affect
HRFS - HIV-Related Fatigue Scale
May and Kline Adjective Checklist
MFI - Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (versions: MFI-20)   
MFSI-30 - Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory-30 items
Pearson–Byars Fatigue Feeling Checklist
PFRS - Profile of Fatigue-Related Symptoms
PFS - Piper Fatigue Scale (versions: PFS-revised; PFS-12)
Rhoten Fatigue Scale
SCFS - Schwartz Cancer Fatigue Scale
SOFA - Schedule of Fatigue and Anergia
SOFI - Swedish Occupational Fatigue Inventory
VAS-F - Visual Analogue Scale for Fatigue [alias: LFS - Lee Fatigue Scale]