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Psychiatry Res. 2010 May 15;177(1-2):114-9. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2009.01.029. Epub 2010 Apr 9.

The Fatigue Questionnaire: Standardization in patients with major depression.

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Athens University Medical School, 1st Department of Psychiatry, Eginition Hospital, Athens, Greece.


Fatigue measures have not been specifically standardized in depressed patients. This study aimed to investigate the reliability and validity of the 14-item Fatigue Questionnaire (FQ), a widely used multidimensional fatigue measure, in patients with major depression without comorbid fatigue-associated conditions. Subjects included were 81 patients with Major Depressive Disorder and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) scores > or = 15 without conditions associated with prominent fatigue and 40 sex- and age-matched healthy controls. The vitality subscale of the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36vit) and a visual analogue fatigue scale (VASF) served as standards of reference for reported fatigue. The FQ presented satisfactory internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha coefficient 0.924), test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.978), discriminant validity (between patients and controls) and concurrent validity (correlations with the SF-36vit and the VASF were -0.469 and 0.477, respectively). Factor analysis showed a two-factor structure (physical and mental fatigue), i.e. a structure similar to the one originally proposed. However, items 3 ('sleepiness'), 4 ('difficulty starting things') and 14 ('loss of interest') did not load on the factor expected. With these items removed, the derived 11-item version of the scale was shown to be a 'purer' measure of fatigue in depressed patients, independent of the severity of depression and comorbid sleepiness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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