Purpose: To identify the different fatigue items in existing frailty scales. Methods: PubMed, Web of Knowledge and PsycINFO were systematically screened for frailty scales. 133 articles were included, describing 158 frailty scales. Fatigue items were extracted and categorized in 4 fatigue constructs: “mood state related tiredness”, “general feeling of tiredness”, “activity based feeling of tiredness” and “resistance to physical tiredness”. Results: 120 fatigue items were identified, of which 100 belonged to the construct “general feeling of tiredness” and only 9 to the construct “resistance to physical tiredness”. 49,4% of the frailty scales included at least 1 fatigue item, representing 15 ± 9,3% of all items in these scales. Fatigue items have a significantly higher weight in single domain (dominantly physical frailty scales) versus multi domain frailty scales (21 ± 3.2 versus 10.6 ± 9.8%, p=<0,05). Conclusion: Fatigue is prominently represented in frailty scales, covering a great diversity in fatigue constructs and underlying pathophysiological mechanisms by which fatigue relates to frailty. Although fatigue items were more prevalent and had a higher weight in physical frailty scales, the operationalization of fatigue leaned more towards psychological constructs. This review can be used as a reference for choosing a suitable frailty scale depending on the type of fatigue of interest.
- Frailty assessment
- Frail elderly