Fatigue Severity Scale

Last updated: April 24, 2019

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The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Read our full medical disclaimer.

Fatigue is a common symptom of a sleep disorder. One of the benefits of sleep is its restorative properties. Sleep heals the body. It also restores energy spent during the day. This explains fatigue. A person who hasn’t recovered from the previous day’s work will feel fatigued. This means that that person will lack the strength to properly function. He will lack the energy to perform his duties and functions. As a result, fatigue induced by sleep disorders may result in a strain in the professional lie of a patient. It can even affect that person’s personal life.

How does the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) work?

The Fatigue Severity Scale is a short questionnaire. There are 9 items in the questionnaire. It contains questions that require a patient to rate his level of fatigue. A patient needs to answer how fatigue interferes with certain activities. The patient should also rate the severity of the fatigue.

Items on the FSS gets scored using a 7-point scale. An item scored with 1 means that the patient strongly disagrees with the statement. A score of 7 means that the patient strongly agrees with the statement.

Since there are 9 items in the questionnaire, 9 is the possible minimum score. The highest possible score is 63. If a patient gets a score of less than 36, the patient might not be suffering from fatigue. A score of more than 36 or more suggests that a patient may need to get evaluated by a physician.

There is another way of scoring the FSS. This is by getting the mean of all the scores. In this method, the minimum score is 1 and the maximum is 7.

However, in 2011, Lerdal found that it is not advisable to use items 1 and 2 in the FSS  in a mean score. FSS-7 shows better validity and reliability. This questionnaire with 7 items is also more sensitive for measuring the change in fatigue.

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Completing the scoring of the Fatigue Severity Scale is not the end of diagnosis. When a patient gets a score of at least 36, the patient should share the score to a physician.  On top of the score, the patient should accurately describe his other symptoms to the doctor. This will help the medical practitioner in arriving with an accurate diagnosis. It will also help the doctor come up with a treatment plan.

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The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Read our full medical disclaimer.

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