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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • children;
  • fatigue;
  • instrument development;
  • nurses;
  • nursing

Aims.  The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate the psychometric properties of a Chinese version of the Fatigue Scale-Children (FS-C-C).

Background.  Cancer-related fatigue is one of the most distressing and prevalent symptoms reported by paediatric oncology patients during and after their cancer treatment. A reliable and valid instrument to measure fatigue is essential to the successful clinical care of paediatric oncology patients in Taiwan who experience this troubling symptom.

Design and methods.  A total of 108 paediatric oncology Taiwanese patients who were aged 7–12 years participated in this cross-sectional, instrumentation study. The FS-C was translated into Chinese by using an established translation/back-translation method. The psychometric testing of the FS-C-C included internal consistency, content validity, construct validity, convergent validity, criterion-related validity and known-group validity.

Results.  The FS-C-C achieved an acceptable internal consistency coefficient. Content validity was moderately high (content validity indices ranged from 83–100%). Confirmatory factor analysis supported the three-factor model as an acceptable model fit (the goodness-of-fit index and adjusted goodness-of-fit index both were greater than 0·9; normed fit index, 0·89; root-mean-square residual, 0·15). Although the results did not support the known-group hypothesis, the convergent validity, concurrent validity and predictive validity of the FS-C-C were supported by significant associations with the PedsQL Multidimensional Fatigue Scale, the Anxious/Depressed subscale of the Child Behaviour Checklist and the generic and disease-specific scores on the Quality of Life for Children with Cancer instrument, respectively.

Conclusion.  Our newly developed FS-C-C is a reliable and valid instrument for the measurement of cancer-related fatigue intensity in Taiwanese children.

Relevance to clinical practice.  The FS-C-C could provide useful information to guide clinical practice in assessing and managing cancer-related fatigue in childhood cancer patients in Taiwan.