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Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2010 Feb 12;8:22. doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-8-22.

Development of a patient reported outcome scale for fatigue in multiple sclerosis: The Neurological Fatigue Index (NFI-MS).

Author information

1
The Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Liverpool, L9 7LJ, UK. rjm@crazydiamond.co.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Fatigue is a common and debilitating symptom in multiple sclerosis (MS). Best-practice guidelines suggest that health services should repeatedly assess fatigue in persons with MS. Several fatigue scales are available but concern has been expressed about their validity. The objective of this study was to examine the reliability and validity of a new scale for MS fatigue, the Neurological Fatigue Index (NFI-MS).

METHODS:

Qualitative analysis of 40 MS patient interviews had previously contributed to a coherent definition of fatigue, and a potential 52 item set representing the salient themes. A draft questionnaire was mailed out to 1223 people with MS, and the resulting data subjected to both factor and Rasch analysis.

RESULTS:

Data from 635 (51.9% response) respondents were split randomly into an 'evaluation' and 'validation' sample. Exploratory factor analysis identified four potential subscales: 'physical', 'cognitive', 'relief by diurnal sleep or rest' and 'abnormal nocturnal sleep and sleepiness'. Rasch analysis led to further item reduction and the generation of a Summary scale comprising items from the Physical and Cognitive subscales. The scales were shown to fit Rasch model expectations, across both the evaluation and validation samples.

CONCLUSION:

A simple 10-item Summary scale, together with scales measuring the physical and cognitive components of fatigue, were validated for MS fatigue.

PMID:
20152031
PMCID:
PMC2834659
DOI:
10.1186/1477-7525-8-22
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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