BACKGROUND: Fatigue is a frequent symptom in cancer patients. In Europe and Northern America fatigue questionnaires were developed and tested, but their generalizability to other cultural contexts is largely unknown. The aim of this study is to provide normative values for the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20) based on a representative sample of the general population in Colombia and to test psychometric properties.
METHODS: 1,500 individuals completed a questionnaire that contained the MFI-20, as well as other questionnaires, and questions on sociodemographic variables and chronic diseases.
RESULTS: The mean values of the scales were marginally higher than those for 2 European samples. The mean value of the total score was 44.3 ± 14.1. Women were affected by fatigue more than men, and there was an almost linear age trend, with higher mean scores for older subjects. People with chronic diseases were affected by fatigue more than people without chronic conditions. The best psychometric properties were obtained for the total scale (sum score) of the MFI-20.
CONCLUSION: The normative values presented here can help us to assess the individual burden of fatigue in a Latin American context. Psychometric properties of the MFI-20 in Colombia are similar to those obtained in Europe.