Quality of Life Research

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 1357-1362

First online:

The Situational Fatigue Scale: A different approach to measuring fatigue

  • Chien-Ming YangAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, National Chengchi University Email author 
  • , Chih-Hsing WuAffiliated withDepartment of Family Medicine, National Cheng-Kung University

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Fatigue can be defined as a subjective state of an imbalance in the availability of inner resources needed to perform physical or mental activities. The level of fatigue is determined not only by the availability of inner resources but also by the demands of the activities performed. Most conventional fatigue scales require subjects to rate their level of fatigue without specifying the situation. In the present study, we constructed a subjective rating scale, the Situational Fatigue Scale (SFS), with which subjects estimated their level of fatigue in specific activities of daily life. We administered the SFS, along with the Fatigue Assessment Instrument (FAI) to 96 outpatients in a family-medicine clinic and to 62 college students to assess the psychometric properties of the SFS. Principle component analysis revealed two underlying factors: physical fatigue and mental fatigue. SFS scores were significantly correlated with several FAI scores and differentiated patients complaining of fatigue from those who did not. The SFS also showed good internal consistency and test–retest reliability. These results suggest that the SFS could be a useful tool to measure a different dimension of the broad concept of fatigue.


Fatigue Rating scale Reliability Validity