Quality assessment criteria: psychometric properties of measurement tools for cancer related fatigue

Mohammed Al Maqbali, Ciara Hughes, Jackie Gracey, Jane Rankin, Lynn Dunwoody, Eileen Hacker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
96 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Fatigue is a common and distressing cancer symptom that negatively affects the quality of life. Many scales have been developed to assess cancer-related fatigue. The properties of the scales vary in terms of dimensionality, reliability, validity, length and method of administration. Insufficient of psychometric properties may affect the accuracy of scales findings, that may lead result obtained questionable. The main objective of this review was to conduct a quality assessment of the psychometric properties of cancer-related fatigue scales to identify appropriate scales that could be used in research and clinical practice.

Method: A systematic search was carried out to identify validated scales that measure cancer-related fatigue. Five databases were searched: CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library. This review was conducted following the PRISMA and Terwee et al.’s quality assessment guidelines to evaluate the psychometric properties of the studies.

Result: Seventy-one different studies published between 1970 and 2018 met the inclusion criteria. Twenty-five scales were identified. Of these, eighteen were multidimensional and seven were uni-dimensional, containing between 4 and 72 items. Reliability and/or validity information was missing for many scales. Four scales met the quality assessment criteria and were reported as the most appropriate for measuring fatigue in cancer patients.

Conclusion: Further psychometric testing is required for other scales. Developing a universally-defined tool kit for the assessment of cancer-related fatigue may help clarify the concept of fatigue and promote a systematic approach to fatigue measurement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1286-1297
Number of pages12
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number9
Early online date17 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2 Sept 2019


  • Review
  • Cancer-Related Fatigue
  • Validity
  • Reliability


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