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Fatigue Severity Scale

The Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) is a method of evaluating fatigue in multiple sclerosis and other conditions including Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and Systemic Lupus Erythmatosis (SLE).

The Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) is designed to differentiate fatigue from clinical depression, since both share some of the same symptoms. Essentially, the FSS consists of answering a short questionaire that requires the subject to rate his or her own level of fatigue. The obvious problem with this measure is its subjectivity.

Here is an example FSS questionaire containing nine statements that attempt to explore severity of fatigue symptoms. The subject is asked to read each statement and circle a number from 1 to 7, depending on how appropriate they felt the statement applied to them over the preceding week. A low value indicates that the statement is not very appropriate whereas a high value indicates agreement.
FSS Questionaire
During the past week, I have found that: Score
    1. My motivation is lower when I am fatigued. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    2. Exercise brings on my fatigue. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    3. I am easily fatigued. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    4. Fatigue interferes with my physical functioning. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    5. Fatigue causes frequent problems for me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    6. My fatigue prevents sustained physical functioning. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    7. Fatigue interferes with carrying out certain duties and responsibilities. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    8. Fatigue is among my three most disabling symptoms. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    9. Fatigue interferes with my work, family, or social life. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

The scoring is done by calculating the average response to the questions (adding up all the answers and dividing by nine).

People with depression alone score about 4.5. But people with fatigue related to MS, SLE or CFIDS average about 6.5.

Fatigue Severity Scale links:
Fatigue Severity Scale
The fatigue descriptive scale (FDS)
The Measurement of Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

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