Background: Within the theoretical framework of the ICD diagnostic criteria of cancer-related fatigue, we aim to investigate how those criteria can be used for screening purposes. Methods: Fatigue was assessed in a mixed sample of 1,225 cancer patients during their stay in a rehabilitation clinic using four different fatigue measures and the diagnostic criteria (Criterion A; DC-A). Psychometric evaluations (e.g., acceptance, reliability, validity, item analyses) were conducted for the sum score and for all items of the diagnostic criteria. Results: A total of 678 (57.1%) patients tested positive according to the DC-A. The sum score of the DC-A had good reliability (Cronbach's alpha = 0.87) and validity, corresponded closely with other fatigue scales, and, with less than 1% missing values, showed a high degree of patients' acceptance. The highest accuracy (approx. 0.80) and Youden indices (>0.55) were found for the items "Difficulties completing daily tasks" (A9), "Struggle to overcome inactivity" (A7), "Decreased motivation or interests" (A4), and "Unrefreshing sleep" (A6). Conclusion: The DC-A proved to be a well-accepted, easy to use, and reliable tool for measuring the severity of fatigue. In this paper, we make suggestions for the use of single items of the DC-A as a short and economical screening tool.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research