COSMIN database

Self-report instruments for fatigue assessment: a systematic review

Mota, D. D. and Pimenta, C. A.
This systematic review analyzed 18 self-reported fatigue instruments for adults. Five databases were searched combining fatigue with instrument, questionnaire, inventory, scale, or assessment. Eighteen fatigue instruments and six definitions of fatigue were found. Six instruments apply to physical or psychiatric disease; five are cancer-specific. Nine were unidimensional; others included intensity (n = 10), mental (n = 7), and physical (n = 7) dimensions. Eleven instruments had 15 or fewer items; the longest had 40 items. Four instruments were discriminative; 14 were evaluative. Fifteen assessed reliability using Cronbach's alpha, which was greater than or equal to .90 seven times. Validity tests were convergent or divergent (n = 11), discriminant (n = 10), and factor analysis (n = 9). Because fatigue is a highly prevalent limiting symptom, this review is important for improving fatigue assessment.
Res Theory Nurs Pract
1541-6577 (Print)
Publication year:
Symptom status:
Cognitive/mental state
Physical state
Functional status:
Cognitive/mental functioning
Physical functioning
Adults (18-65)
Seniors (65+)
Diseases of and symptoms related to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
Mental and behavioural disorders and related symptoms
Neoplasms and related symptoms
PRO / non-PRO:
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
6 - Clinical rating scales
BFI - Brief Fatigue Inventory (versions: MBFI - ModiefiedBFI))
BMFQ - Brief Mental Fatigue Questionnaire
CFS - Cancer Fatigue Scale
CFS - Chalder Fatigue Scale [alias: FQ - Fatigue Questionnaire][alias: FRS - Fatigue Rating Scale]
CRFDS - Cancer-Related Fatigue Distress Scale
DEFS - Dutch Exertion Fatigue Scale
D-FIS - Fatigue impact scale for daily use [Alias: FIS-D - Fatigue Impact Scale for Daily Administration]
DUFS - Dutch Fatigue Scale
FAI / FSI - Fatigue Assessment Instrument (FAI) = Fatigue Severity Inventory (FSI)
FIS / FFSS - Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS) or Fisk Fatigue Severity Score (FFSS)
FSS - Fatigue Severity Scale (versions: FSS-7 - 7-item version and FSS-5 - 5-item version)   
MFI - Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (versions: MFI-20)   
PFS - Piper Fatigue Scale (versions: PFS-revised; PFS-12)
SCFS - Schwartz Cancer Fatigue Scale
SOFA-CFS - Schedule of Fatigue and Anergia for chronic Fatigue Syndrome
SOFA-GP - Schedule of Fatigue and Anergia for General Practice
SOFA - Schedule of Fatigue and Anergia
VAS-F - Visual Analogue Scale for Fatigue [alias: LFS - Lee Fatigue Scale]