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Afr Health Sci. 2011 Sep;11(3):334-40.

Factorial validation and reliability analysis of the Brain Fag Syndrome Scale.

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  • 1Department of Behavioural Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Nigeria.



Brain fag is an indigenous psychopathology or culture-bound syndrome formally documented in Nigeria in the 1960's by Raymond Prince.


The need for a factorial examination of the scale to ensure factorial validity and also to examine the reliability of this screening scale.


Two hundred thirty four (234) participants with ages between 11 - 20 years with a mean age of 14.20 and a Standard Deviation of 2.14 of which 114 were from a private secondary school and 120 from a public secondary school were randomly selected and administered the Brain Fag Syndrome Scale [BFSS]. The data was subjected to factor analysis using Principal Component Analysis with Oblim Rotation.


Two valid factors emerged with items 1-3 and items 4, 5 & 7 loading on them respectively, making the BFSS a two-dimensional (multidimensional) scale which measures 2 aspects of brain fag [labeled burning sensation and crawling sensation respectively]. The reliability analysis yielded a Cronbach Alpha coefficient of 0.521, and a standardized item alpha of 0.528 estimated its internal consistency. Also, the BFSS was correlated with other tests to establish its concurrent validity [convergent and divergent].


BFSS is a valid and reliable two-dimensional instrument to assess brain fag syndrome.


Brain Fag; Culture-bound syndrome; Students; Validation

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