A Comparison of Fatigue Scales in Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome

Olavo M. Vasconcelos*, Olga A. Prokhorenko, Kay F. Kelley, Alexander H. Vo, Cara H. Olsen, Marinos C. Dalakas, Lauro S. Halstead, Bahman Jabbari, William W. Campbell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Vasconcelos Jr OM, Prokhorenko OA, Kelley KF, Vo AH, Olsen CH, Dalakas MC, Halstead LS, Jabbari B, Campbell WW. A comparison of fatigue scales in postpoliomyelitis syndrome. Objective: To examine the applicability and validity of traditional fatigue questionnaires in postpoliomyelitis syndrome (PPS) patients with disabling fatigue. Design: Cross-sectional study. PPS and disabling fatigue were ascertained according to published criteria. Descriptiveness was determined using the McNemar test, and interscale z-score agreement was estimated with Pearson's coefficients. Setting: PPS clinic. Participants: Fifty-six survivors of poliomyelitis: 39 met criteria for PPS, 25 of whom met criteria for disabling fatigue. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: The Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), visual analog scale (VAS) for fatigue, and Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS). Results: Twenty-four patients scored 50% or higher on the scale range for FSS, compared with 19 patients for VAS for fatigue (P=.042), and 7 patients for FIS (P<.001). Scores for patients with disabling fatigue averaged 81.5%, 62%, and 40.9% of the scale range for FSS, VAS for fatigue, and FIS, respectively. Agreement was moderate between the FSS and VAS for fatigue (r=.45, P=.02), but low between FSS and FIS (r=.29, P=.15), and FIS and VAS for fatigue (r=.20, P=.33). Two sample t tests showed significant differences between those with disabling fatigue and those without, based on FSS scores (t=3.8, P<.001), but not for VAS for fatigue or FIS scores. Conclusions: FSS was the most descriptive of the instruments tested. Scores generated by the scales were not interchangeable. Of the 3 scales, FFS seemed to be the most informative for the clinical assessment of fatigue in patients with PPS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1213-1217
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Fatigue
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Postpoliomyelitis syndrome
  • Rehabilitation


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