While fatigue is found to be an impairing symptom in functional motor disorders (FMD) in clinical practice, scientific evidence is lacking. We investigated fatigue severity and subtypes in FMD compared to organic neurological disease. Furthermore, the role of fatigue within FMD and its impact on quality of life and self-rated health were investigated. Data from 181 patients participating in the self-help on the internet for functional motor disorders, randomised Trial were included. Data from 217 neurological controls with neuromuscular disorders (NMD) originated from a historical cohort. Fatigue was measured using the checklist individual strength (CIS). Motor symptom severity, depression and anxiety were correlated to fatigue. For multivariable regression analyses, physical functioning and pain were additionally taken into account. Severe fatigue was, respectively, present in 78 and 53% of FMD and NMD patients (p < 0.001). FMD patients scored higher than NMD patients on all fatigue subdomains (p < 0.001). In the FMD group, fatigue subdomains were correlated to depression, anxiety and partly to motor symptom severity. Quality of life was negatively associated with fatigue [OR 0.93 (0.90-0.96), p < 0.001] and depression [OR 0.87 (0.81-0.93), p < 0.001], but not self-rated motor symptom severity. Self-rated health was negatively associated with fatigue [OR 0.92 (0.88-0.96), p < 0.001] and pain [OR 0.98 (0.97-0.99), p < 0.001]. Fatigue was found to be a prevalent problem in FMD, more so than in organic neurological disease. It significantly affected quality of life and self-rated health, while other factors such as motor symptom severity did not. Fatigue should be taken into account in clinical practice and treatment trials.
- Journal Article