Send to

Choose Destination
J Rheumatol. 2006 Jul;33(7):1282-8. Epub 2006 Jun 1.

Dimensions of fatigue in systemic lupus erythematosus: relationship to disease status and behavioral and psychosocial factors.

Author information

Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Division of Rheumatology, and Division of Clinical Immunology/Allergy, Department of Medicine, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



To characterize the experience of fatigue in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) using a multidimensional assessment and to delineate contributors to physical and mental dimensions of fatigue.


Fatigue in 130 women with SLE was assessed using the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20). Participants completed standardized questionnaires assessing sleep quality, depressed mood, social support, and leisure-time physical activity. A clinical examination determined disease activity, cumulative damage, and whether patients fulfilled American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia (FM). A series of hierarchical multiple regressions were computed to identify contributors to physical and mental fatigue.


Patients scored high on all 5 MFI-20 fatigue dimensions, with general fatigue and physical fatigue having the highest scores. A hierarchical multiple regression showed that greater disease damage and disease activity, the presence of FM, depressed mood, sleep disturbance, and less participation in leisure-time physical activity contributed to higher physical fatigue scores. The results of the second model found depressed mood to be the strongest determinant of mental fatigue. Disease-related variables were not associated with mental fatigue.


Fatigue in SLE is multidimensional and multidetermined, with physical and mental aspects likely having different etiologies. A multidimensional assessment of fatigue in SLE is needed to tailor and optimize interventions aimed at alleviating fatigue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center