Standardizing fatigue measurement in multiple sclerosis: the validity, responsiveness and score interpretation of the PROMIS SF v1.0 - Fatigue (MS) 8a.

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Mult Scler Relat Disord


washington; seattle; swedish


BACKGROUND: Fatigue is one of the most common and the single most disabling symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, there is a lack of consensus on the most appropriate fatigue measures in clinical practice and research, based upon rigorously validated, generalizable, and publicly available instruments. The objective of this research was to generate additional evidence regarding the validity and applicability of the PROMIS SF v1.0 - Fatigue (MS) 8a, including content validity, reliability, construct validity and responsiveness, as well as to assess minimal important difference (MID) estimates and a score interpretation tool to aide meaningful individual level score interpretation.

METHODS: A mixed-methods, sequential design was followed. Cognitive debriefing (CD) interviews (n=29) were performed with MS patients, to assess the relevance and comprehensiveness of the PROMIS Fatigue (MS) 8a scores. To evaluate the psychometric properties of the PROMIS Fatigue (MS) 8a, two observational studies were conducted: a cross-sectional study at two US MS centers (n=296), and a 96-week longitudinal study in a UK MS Register cohort (n=384). Main outcomes and measures were estimates of known-groups validity, convergence validity, reliability, and responsiveness, a guide for interpreting PROMIS Fatigue (MS) 8a T-scores, and anchor-based MID estimates.

RESULTS: The CD interviews confirmed the comprehensiveness and relevance of the PROMIS Fatigue (MS) 8a in assessing MS fatigue. Cronbach's alpha (>0.9) and intra-class correlation coefficient (≥0.9) for test-retest scores at 5-7 days follow-up, supported strong internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Hypothesized differences were found across patient groups in patient reported fatigue and related concepts (analysis of variance [ANOVA], P

CONCLUSION: This research extends the evidence supporting the content validity and the robust psychometric performance of the PROMIS Fatigue (MS) 8a across US and UK MS populations. Importantly, data supporting the measure's integration in clinical practice and research, including meaningful score interpretation, are now available.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)