This study evaluated and compared the measurement properties of the 13-item Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue Scale (FACIT-F) and the 9-item Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) in 118 consecutive Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, using traditional and Rasch measurement methodologies. Both questionnaires exhibited excellent data quality and reliability (coefficient alpha>or=0.9), and acceptable rating scale functionality, and both discriminated between fatigued and nonfatigued patients. Factor and Rasch analyses provided general support for unidimensionality of both FACIT-F and FSS, although they do not appear to measure identical aspects of fatigue. No signs of differential item functioning (DIF) were found for the FACIT-F, whereas potential age DIF was detected for two FSS items. These results support the measurement validity of both questionnaires in PD, although the FACIT-F displayed better measurement precision and modest psychometric advantages over the FSS. Availability of psychometrically sound fatigue measures that are applicable across disorders provides a sound basis for advancing the understanding of this common and distressing complaint.
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