Fatigue in men and women who have returned to work after stroke: Assessed with the fatigue severity scale and mental fatigue scale


  • Anna Anna Norlander Department of Health Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • Ingrid Lindgren
  • Hélène Pessah-Rasmussen
  • Gunvor Gard
  • Christina Brogårdh




cerebral stroke, data correlation, disability evaluation, mental fatigue, return to work, self-assessment, stroke rehabilitation


Objective: To assess the occurrence of self-reported fatigue among men and women who have returned to work after stroke, and the association between 2 fatigue rating scales.

Design: A cross-sectional study.

Subjects: A total of 91 adults (58 men/33 women, mean age 53 years) with mild to moderate disability.

Methods: Questionnaires were posted to participants approximately one year after stroke. Fatigue was assessed with the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and the Mental Fatigue Scale (MFS).

Results: In total, 58% of the women and 33% of the men reported fatigue on the FSS (total score ≥ 4), and 46% of the women and 28% of the men reported mental fatigue on the MFS (total score ≥ 10.5). Being easily fatigued, decreased motivation, mental fatigability and sensitivity to stress were the most reported problems. FSS and MFS were moderately associated (rho 0.517–0.732).

Conclusion: Fatigue is common among persons who have returned to work after stroke, and interferes with daily life. The long-term consequences of fatigue should be addressed after stroke, especially in women. The FSS and the MFS can be used in combination, as they provide information on different aspects of fatigue.

Key words: cerebral stroke; data correlation; disability evaluation; mental fatigue; return to work; self-assessment; stroke rehabilitation.

Lay abstract

Fatigue can be a long-lasting and disabling impairment following stroke. There is a need for increased knowledge of how fatigue affects people who have returned to work after stroke, and which fatigue rating scales capture their problems most appropriately. The aim of this study was to assess the occurrence of self-reported fatigue among men and women who have returned to work after stroke, and to determine the association between 2 fatigue rating scales. The study was based on a postal survey and includes 91 participants. Fatigue was found to be common 1 year after stroke, especially in women, and interfered with daily life. The 2 fatigue rating scales could be used in combination, as they provide different information on fatigue. The findings could be used to develop support that enables people with stroke to return to and to stay at work long-term.


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How to Cite

Anna Norlander, A., Lindgren, I., Pessah-Rasmussen, H. ., Gard, G., & Brogårdh, C. (2021). Fatigue in men and women who have returned to work after stroke: Assessed with the fatigue severity scale and mental fatigue scale. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 53(9 (September), jrm00227. https://doi.org/10.2340/16501977-2863



Original Report