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The goal of this study was to investigate whether individuals with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome also experience multidimensional fatigue and whether these individuals can be clustered into subgroups based on the types of fatigue they endorse.
A convenience sample of 138 participants (aged 14-29) with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome completed questionnaires that assessed fatigue, brain fog symptom severity, activities that improve brain fog, and brain fog-related disability. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the Fatigue Types Questionnaire, and a three-factor solution was produced. Factor scores were then used to cluster the patients into groups using a TwoStep cluster analysis. This resulted in two clusters, a high severity group and a low severity group. The clusters were then compared on a number of items related to symptom expression. Individuals within the more severe cluster had significantly more brain fog at the beginning and end of the survey when compared to cluster two.
Those in the more severe cluster also described more activity impairment as well as more frequent, more severe, and more debilitation from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and brain fog. The findings of the factor analysis suggest that patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome experience fatigue as a multidimensional construct and they also can be subgrouped based on symptom severity.