Academic journal article Journal of Nursing Measurement

Factor Analysis of the Revised Piper Fatigue Scale in a Caregiver Sample

Academic journal article Journal of Nursing Measurement

Factor Analysis of the Revised Piper Fatigue Scale in a Caregiver Sample

Article excerpt

The Revised Piper Fatigue Scale (R-PFS) is an instrument designed to measure subjective fatigue that was developed in samples with physical illness. Its psychometric properties in nonclinical samples are unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the R-PFS in a sample of caregivers of stroke survivors. The convenience sample of 132 caregivers was primarily women (74%), White (71%), college-educated (73%), and employed (52%), with a mean age of 56.7 years (SD = 13.71). Internal consistency reliabilities for the four R-PFS subscales and the total scale were excellent, ranging from .90 to .97. Principal axis factor analysis with oblique rotation was conducted to examine construct validity of the R-PFS. A three-factor solution explained 75.9% of the common variance. Two factors totally replicated the behavioral/severity and affective meaning subscales of the R-PFS. The third factor incorporated a combination of Piper's sensory and cognitive/mood subscales and appeared to summarize how fatigue makes the caregiver feel. The R-PFS demonstrated strong internal consistency reliability and construct validity in this sample. However, data suggest that caregivers may perceive certain feelings associated with fatigue as conceptually similar when these feelings are conceptually distinct in Piper's breast cancer sample. The study supports the need for psychometric evaluation of instruments developed in clinical populations prior to their use in nonclinical populations.

Keywords: caregivers; fatigue; stroke survivors; reliability; validity

Fatigue, a symptom of multiple illnesses and illness situations, has been defined as "an overwhelming sustained sense of exhaustion and decreased capacity for physical and mental work at usual level" (McCloskey & Bulechek, 2000, p. 735). First studied extensively in cancer patients (Mock et al., 2001; Piper et al., 1998; Woo, Dibble, Piper, Keating, & Weiss, 1998), investigations regarding fatigue have expanded to include patients with other chronic conditions such as postpolio syndrome, human immunodefi- ciency virus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and myocardial infarction (Bormann, Shively, Smith, & Gifford, 2001; Small & Lamb, 2000; Strohschein et al., 2003; Varvaro, Sereika, Zullo, & Robertson, 1996). Fatigue is a common symptom in persons with physical illness, but it can also be present in their caregivers. Little attention has been given to the psychometric properties of fatigue measures in caregiver populations.

The Revised Piper Fatigue Scale (R-PFS), an instrument designed to measure subjective fatigue, was developed and psychometrically tested in samples of breast cancer patients and subsequently has been used to measure fatigue in patients with other illnesses such as prostate cancer (Monga, Kerrigan, Thronby, Monda, & Zimmermann, 2005), end-stage renal disease (Cho & Tsay, 2004), and myocardial infarction (Crane, 2005). This article reports an evaluation of the psychometric properties of the R-PFS in a sample of caregivers of stroke survivors.


Teel and Press (1999) described caregiver fatigue as the result of an imbalance between caregiving demands and caregiving resources and theorized that caregiver fatigue could result in negative health outcomes for the caregiver and potential relinquishing of the caregiver role. Their study indicated that older caregivers reported more fatigue than normal controls and that the severity of fatigue did not vary by the amount of physical care provided by the caregiver (Teel & Press, 1999). These results were consistent with an early study of caregiver fatigue in 248 family caregivers of cancer patients (Jensen & Given, 1991), which found that although caregivers provided care for a relatively few (4.3) hours per day, 53% reported moderate to severe fatigue in the caregiving role. Fatigue was related to perceived impact of the caregiving on the caregiver's schedule but was not related to the caregiver's age, employment status, duration of caregiving, or number of hours of care provided each day. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.