Currently, several fatigue measurement instruments are available to evaluate and measure cancer-related fatigue. Amongst them, Multidimensional Fatigue Syndrome Inventory-Short Form (MFSI-SF) is a self-reported instrument and a multidimensional scale that aims to capture the global, somatic, affective, cognitive and behavioural symptoms of fatigue. This study examines the psychometric properties and measurement equivalence of the English and Chinese versions of MFSI-SF in breast cancer and lymphoma patients in Singapore.
Patients were recruited from National Cancer Centre Singapore. Validity, reliability and responsiveness of MFSI-SF were evaluated in this study. Convergent validity was evaluated by correlating total and subscales of MFSI-SF to known related constructs in EORTC QLQ-C30. Known group validity was assessed based on patients’ cancer stage, pain, insomnia and depression symptoms. Reliability was evaluated by Cronbach’s α. Responsiveness analyses were performed with patients who have undergone at least one cycle of chemotherapy. Multiple regression was used to compare the total and subscale scores of MSFI-SF between the two language versions.
Data from 246 (160 English and 86 Chinese version) breast cancer and lymphoma patients were included in the study. Moderate to high correlations were observed between correlated MFSI-SF subscales and EORTC QLQ-C30 domains (|r| = 0.524 to 0.774) except for a poor correlation (r = 0.394) observed between MFSI-SF vigour subscale and EORTC QLQ-C30 role functioning subscale. Total MFSI-SF scores could differentiate between patients with higher depression, pain and insomnia status. Internal consistency of MFSI-SF was also high (α = 0.749 to 0.944). Moderate correlation was observed between change in total MFSI-SF score and change in fatigue symptom scale score and global QoL score on EORTC QLQ-C30 (|r| = 0.478 and 0.404 respectively). Poor correlations were observed between change in scores of hypothesised subscales (|r| = 0.202 to 0.361) except for a moderate correlation between change in MFSI-SF emotional fatigue score and change in EORTC QLQ-C30 emotional functioning domain score. Measurement equivalence was established for all subscales and total MFSI-SF score except for the emotional and vigour subscales.
This study supports the use of MFSI-SF as a reasonably valid scale with good internal consistency for measuring fatigue levels in the Singapore cancer population.