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J Psychosom Res. 2013 Jan;74(1):64-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2012.10.011. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Measurement of fatigue in cancer, stroke, and HIV using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy - Fatigue (FACIT-F) scale.

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Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, United States.



Given the importance of fatigue in cancer, stroke and HIV, we sought to assess the measurement properties of a single, well-described fatigue scale in these populations. We hypothesized that the psychometric properties of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy - Fatigue (FACIT-F) subscale would be favorable and that the scale could serve as a useful indicator of fatigue in these populations.


Patients were eligible for the study if they were outpatients, aged 18 or older, with a diagnosis of cancer (n=297), stroke (n=51), or HIV/AIDS (n=51). All participants were able to understand and speak English. Patients answered study-related questions, including the FACIT-F using a touch-screen laptop, assisted by the research assistant as necessary. Clinical information was abstracted from patients' medical records.


Item-level statistics on the FACIT-F were similar across the groups and internal consistency reliability was uniformly high (α>0.91). Correlations with performance status ratings were statistically significant across the groups (range r=-0.28 to -0.80). Fatigue scores were moderately to highly correlated with general quality of life (range r=0.66-0.80) in patients with cancer, stroke, and HIV. Divergent validity was supported in low correlations with variables not expected to correlate with fatigue.


Originally developed to assess cancer-related fatigue, the FACIT-F has utility as a measure of fatigue in other populations, such as stroke and HIV. Ongoing research will soon allow for comparison of FACIT-F scores to those obtained using the fatigue measures from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®; initiative.

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