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PROMIS Forms Capture Fatigue Experience in RA

Qual Life Res; ePub 2018 May 24; Bartlett, et al

Items in the single-score PROMIS Fatigue Short Forms (SFs) demonstrate content validity and can adequately capture the wide range of fatigue experiences of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a recent study found. Researchers recruited people with RA from an online patient community (n=200) and 3 academic medical centers (n=84) in the US. Participants completed both SFs then rated the comprehensiveness and comprehensibility of the items to their fatigue experience. Researchers found:

  • Mean SF scores were similar among clinic patients reflecting mild fatigue (ie, 54.5–55.9), but were significantly higher in online participants.
  • SF Fatigue scores correlated highly (r ≥ 0.82) and moderately with patient assessments of disease activity (r ≥ 0.62).
  • Most (70–92%) reported that the items “completely” or “mostly” reflected their experience.
  • Almost all (≥ 94%) could distinguish general fatigue from RA fatigue.
  • Most (≥ 85%) rated individual items questions as “somewhat” or “very relevant” to their fatigue experience, averaged their fatigue over the past 7 days (58%), and rated fatigue impact vs severity (72 vs 19%).
  • 99% rated fatigue as an important symptom they considered when deciding how well their current treatment was controlling their RA.


Bartlett SJ, Gutierrez AK, Butanis A, et al. Combining online and in-person methods to evaluate the content validity of PROMIS fatigue short forms in rheumatoid arthritis. [Published online ahead of print May 24, 2018]. Qual Life Res. doi:10.1007/s11136-018-1880-x.

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