Fatigue Profiles in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis are Based on Severity of Fatigue and not on Dimensions of Fatigue

Heleen Beckerman, Isaline Cjm Eijssen, Jetty van Meeteren, Marion C Verhulsdonck, Vincent de Groot

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Fatigue related to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is considered a multidimensional symptom, manifesting in several dimensions such as physical, cognitive, and psychosocial fatigue. This study investigated in 264 patients with severe primary MS-related fatigue (median MS duration 6.8 years, mean age 48.1 years, 75% women) whether subgroups can be distinguished based on these dimensions. Subsequently, we tested whether MS-related fatigue consists of a single common unidimensional factor. Subscale scores on four self-reported fatigue questionnaires, including the Checklist of Individual Strength, the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale, the Fatigue Severity Scale and the SF36 vitality, were used in a cluster analysis to identify patients with similar fatigue characteristics. Next, all 54 items were included in exploratory factor analysis to test unidimensionality. Study results show that in patients with a treatment indication for primary MS-related fatigue, fatigue profiles are based on severity and not on the various dimensions of fatigue. The three profiles found, suggested one underlying fatigue dimension, but this could not be confirmed. Factor analysis of all 54 items resulted in 8 factors, confirming the multidimensional construct of the included fatigue questionnaires.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4167
Pages (from-to)4167
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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