Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis: Its Relation to Disability and Functional Independence




Multiple sclerosis, fatigue, disability, functional independence


Background: Fatigue is a common and disabling symptom in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), but it was overlooked

for a long time probably. Fatigue has a significant effect on the mental health and general health status. It

is not only the most frequently reported symptom in MS but also a limiting factor which can interfere with

physical ability and functional independence. Thus, aim of this study was to find out the relation of fatigue

to disability and functional independence, as it can help all the rehabilitation team to emphasize on the

importance of fatigue and its effect on disability and functional independence when assessing subjects of

MS and planning treatment guidelines for them. Materials and Methods: The participants in this study

were 30 MS subjects. These subjects were assessed for fatigue by using Modifies fatigue impact scale

(MFIS), disability by expanded disability status scale (EDSS) and functional independence by functional

independence measure scale (FIM) and a correlation was done between them. Result: The spearman’s

correlation test indicate that fatigue has a moderate positive correlation with disability which was assessed

by EDSS(r = 0.4) and statistically showed moderate significance (p< 0.05) Fatigue has moderate negative

correlation with functional independence (r = -0.50) and statistically showed string significance (p<0.01).

Also, disability has a very large negative correlation (r = -0.852) with functional independence and

statistically showed strong significance (p<0.001). This study accepted the experimental hypothesis stating

that there was a significant relation of fatigue to disability and functional independence in subjects with MS

Conclusion: Study concludes that fatigue is a common symptom affecting majority of patients with MS.

It was found that fatigue had a positive correlation with disability but when functional independence was

considered there existed a negative correlation in fatigue and functional independence.