Abstract: The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Activities and Participation Questionnaire (CFS-APQ): an overview

Occup Ther Int. 2005;12(2):107-21.

Nijs J, Vaes P, De Meirleir K.

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium. Jo.Nijs@vub.ac.be

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by severe fatigue and a reduction in activity levels. The purpose of this study was to provide an overview of design, reliability, and validity of the CFS Activities and Participation Questionnaire (CFS-APQ). The CFS-APQ was constructed based on a retrospective analysis of the Karnofsky Performance Status Questionnaire and the Activities of Daily Living Questionnaire (n = 141). In a reliability study of 34 participants the test-retest reliability coefficient of the CFS-APQ was 0.95.

In two different studies, the Cronbach alpha coefficient for internal consistency varied between 0.87 (n = 88) and 0.94 (n = 47). The CFS-APQ was administered to 47 patients who listed 183 activities that had become difficult due to their chronic symptoms, and 157 (85.8%) answers matched the content of the CFS-APQ. The outcome of a cross-sectional study (n = 88) studying the correlations between the Medical Outcomes Short Form 36 Health Status Survey subscale scores and the CFS-APQ supported the validity of the CFS-APQ.

The CFS-APQ scores correlated with a behavioural assessment of the patients’ performance of activities encompassed by the questionnaire (r = 0.29-0.55; n = 63), and correlated with exercise capacity parameters (r = 0.26-0.39; n = 77) obtained during a maximal exercise capacity stress test. Finally, the CFS-APQ correlated with visual analogue scales for pain (r = 0.51) and fatigue (r = 0.50; n = 47).

It is concluded that the CFS-APQ generates reliable and valid data, and can be used as a clinical measure of disease severity in patients with CFS. Future studies should aim at examining the sensitivity of the CFS-APQ.

PMID: 16136868 [PubMed – in process]

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