Development and Validation of the Fatigue State Questionnaire: Preliminary Findings

Spencer Greenberg*, Pluta Aislinn, DeConti Kirsten
Department of Mathematics, New York University and Gimbel Technologies, New York, USA

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Creative Commons License
© Greenberg et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Gimbel Technologies, 350 E 54th St, #1A, New York, NY 10022 USA; Email:


Study Objectives:

To develop and test an easy to administer, conceptually sound, self-report fatigue state questionnaire, the Fatigue State Questionnaire (FSQ).


A self-report study.


Internet-based study.


214 adults recruited via the Internet website, Mechanical Turk.


Not applicable

Measurements and Results:

The FSQ showed adequate internal consistency; Chronbach's alpha ranged from .73 to .82. Test-retest reliability after a ten-minute interval was also acceptable (r=.71). The FSQ had incremental validity over the (SSS) in predicting measures of participant health (r=-.25 vs. r=-.11, z=-2.30, p=<.05), sleep debt (r=.30 vs. r= .15, z=2.82, p<.01) and sleep changes (over or under sleeping by 90 minutes or more) on the night prior (r=.35 vs. r=.22, z=2.20, p<.05). FSQ scores were significantly higher in unhealthy participants compared to healthy participants and in participants with a sleep debt or a sleep change compared to participants with their ideal amount of sleep. FSQ scores were also significantly higher in participants taking the test during a circadian low with sleep debt or sleep changes than in participants taking the test during a circadian mid or high point with these sleep differences.


The FSQ shows promise as a reliable, valid instrument for measuring the fatigue state. Future research should compare within-subject FSQ scores at multiple intervals across the circadian cycle to further assess validity.

Keywords: Circadian rhythm, Fatigue, Health, Sleepiness, Sleep deprivation.