The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4060.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 3

Abstract #48710

Development of a Reserve-Specific Measure of Fatigue

Aaron I. Schneiderman, PhD, RN, Center for the Study of War-Related Illnesses, Department of Veterans Affairs, 50 Irving Street NW, Washington, DC 20422, 202.606.5420,, Jackie Agnew, PhD, Environmental Health, Johns Hopkins University, 615 North Wolfe, Baltimore, MD 21205, and Barbara A. Curbow, PhD, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health, 624 N Broadway 7th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21205.

Work-related fatigue can affect a worker’s emotional state, cognitive abilities, and task performance. This study employed qualitative and quantitative methods to develop a measure of work-related fatigue in a sample of United States Army Reservists and examined the contribution of workplace psychosocial stressors, such as psychological demands and level of control, to the experience of fatigue.

Twelve key informant interviews and eight focus groups (n=49) were used to develop a new scale to measure work-related fatigue. Development relied on content analyses of interview data and a series of four cognitive interviews. Ninety-eight reservists (response rate of 60%) returned a survey that included the Reserve Fatigue Scale (RFS) and scales measuring reserve-specific work-related psychosocial factors.

The final version of the RFS had very strong psychometric properties: a single factor structure; 75.7% of the variance explained; Chronbach’s alpha of 0.92; and mean inter-item correlation of 0.70. The multiple linear regression “best fit” model for fatigue included the following variables: psychosocial demands, sex, mental health, and the interaction term for mental health x psychosocial demands (Adjusted R2=0.442).

Psychosocial demands were the strongest predictor of acute work-related fatigue in this sample. Mental health complaints also had an important main effect and functioned as an effect modifier of the relationship between demands and fatigue, suggesting that where mental health complaints were elevated, psychosocial demands contributed less to elevated fatigue. The initial validation of this new scale for measuring work-related fatigue demonstrates its promise for future use in occupational health research.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to

    Keywords: Occupational Health, Methodology

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: This research was sponsored by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; however, the information or content and conclusions do not necessarily represent the position or policy of, nor should any official endorsement be inferred by, the Un
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    Poster Session II

    The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA