Giving meaning to measure: Linking self-reported fatigue and function to performance of everyday activities

Trudy Mallinson*, David Cella, John Cashy, Bernhard Holzner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Fatigue, a common symptom of cancer patients, particularly those on active treatment, is generally evaluated using self-report methods, yet it remains unclear how self-reported fatigue scores relate to performance of daily activities. This study examines the relationships among self-reported and performance-based measures of function in patients receiving chemotherapy (CT) to link self-reported fatigue measures to self-report and performance-based measures of function. Self-reported fatigue using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F) and self-reported physical function using the physical function 10 subscale of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) (PF-10) were measured in 64 patients within 2 weeks of beginning CT (n = 64) and after three cycles of CT (n = 48). Motor and cognitive functions were captured using five self-reported and seven observed-performance measures at each time point. Significant correlations between self-reported and observed measures ranged from 0.30 to 0.71. Self-reported fatigue correlated (0.30-0.45) with performance-based function. FACIT-F scores in the range of 30 and below and PF-10 scores in the range of 50 and below were related to an increased difficulty performing everyday activities. Observed measures of physical performance correlate moderately with self-reported fatigue and self-reported physical function. These relationships enable one to begin linking fatigue scores directly to a person's ability to perform everyday activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-241
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Fatigue
  • Function
  • Observed performance
  • Self-report

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Giving meaning to measure: Linking self-reported fatigue and function to performance of everyday activities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this