International Development of the Unidimensional Fatigue Impact Scale (U-FIS)


Lynda C. Doward, Galen Research Ltd, Enterprise House, Manchester Science Park, Lloyd Street North, Manchester M15 6SE, UK. E-mail:


Objective:  The 22-item Unidimensional Fatigue Impact Scale (U-FIS) provides an index of the impact of fatigue on patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The objective is to produce eight new language versions of the U-FIS: Canadian-English, Canadian-French, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, and US-English.

Methods:  The U-FIS was translated via two translation panels. Cognitive debriefing interviews conducted with patients in each country assessed face and content validity. Scaling and psychometric properties were assessed via survey data with patients in each country completing the U-FIS, Nottingham Health Profile (NHP), and demographic questions.

Results:  Cognitive debriefing interviews demonstrated U-FIS acceptability. Analysis of postal survey data showed all new language versions to be unidimensional. Reliability was high, with test-retest correlations and internal-consistency coefficients exceeding 0.85. Initial evidence of validity was provided by moderate to high correlations with NHP scales. The U-FIS was able to discriminate between groups based on employment status, perceived MS severity, and general health.

Conclusion:  The U-FIS is a practical new measure of the impact of fatigue. It was successfully adapted into eight new languages to broaden availability for researchers. Psychometric analyses indicated that the new language versions were unidimensional and reproducible with promising construct validity.