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

Zeeshan Butt*, Jin shei Lai, Deepa Rao, Allen W. Heinemann, Alex Bill, David Cella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Objective: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-68
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Assessment
  • Cancer
  • Fatigue
  • HIV
  • Psychometrics
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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