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Measuring fatigue with the multidimensional fatigue inventory (MFI-20) in persons treated for myocardial infarction

Conference paper
Authors Ulla Fredriksson-Larsson
Åsa Lundgren Nilsson
Christina Cliffordson
Pia Alsén
Eva Brink
Published in European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Volume 11
Issue Suppl 1
Pages 50
Publication year 2012
Published at University of Gothenburg Centre for person-centred care (GPCC)
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 50
Language en
Keywords Fatigue, myocardial infarction, psychometric validation
Subject categories Nursing


Purpose: During recovery from acute myocardial infarction, about 50% of the patients report fatigue. Early identification of a person experiencing fatigue could create conditions for better support in person-centred fatigue relief strategies. In clinical assessment of post-myocardial infarction fatigue, a short instrument is preferable. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was, first, to validate the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20) and, second, to test whether the subscale General Fatigue could be used in screening for fatigue in persons who have been treated for myocardial infarction. Thus far, validation studies of MFI-20 including patients with coronary heart diseases have been lacking. Method: The sample consisted of 204 consecutive patients (59 women, 145 men, mean age 64 year) who have been treated for myocardial infarction at the coronary care unit in a rural Swedish hospital. Four mounts after the acute heart attack, study participants answered the MFI-20. Data were analysed using Confirmatory factor analysis and Rasch- analysis. Results: The confirmatory factor analyses revealed that the MFI five-factor model had a mediocre fit (RMSEA = 0.091; Chi2 = 432.079, p < 0.001). However, fitting data to the Rasch model with each domain grouped as testlets gave significant item-trait interactions, supporting the five- factor model. Also, when the five MFI-20 domains were analysed separately, they worked according to the model and there was support for using at least four of five MFI subscales - General Fatigue, Physical Fatigue Mental fatigue and Reduced Activity, (PCI between 0.73–0.81) – as measures of post-myocardial infarction fatigue. Conclusion: To conclude, the MFI-20 can be used in assessment of post - myocardial infarction fatigue. If a very short instrument is needed, the subscale General Fatigue can be used as an initial screening instrument.

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