Journal List > Korean J Adult Nurs > v.30(5) > 1106001

Jeong and Choi-Kwon: Characteristics and Factors related to Fatigue in Older Adults at a Senior Welfare Center



Fatigue is common in older adults and may decrease the quality of life. The purpose of this study was to investigate the level and characteristics of fatigue of older adults, and identify the factors associated with fatigue.


This study used a secondary data analysis (n=200). Data collection was conducted from July to September 2015. Fatigue Severity Scale, Geriatric Depression Scale Short Form Korea Version, Korean Version of Physical Activity Scale for Elderly, and Verran & Synder-Halpern Sleep Scale were used.


We used the data from 200 older adults in a local senior welfare center. Their average age was 74.5 years. We found that 35.5% of them had fatigue (≥4). The reported factors alleviating fatigue were taking rest, warm bath, and sleeping. Engaging in light sports was also reported to alleviate fatigue. The level of fatigue was higher in subjects with older age (p=.009), lower income (p=.003), higher number of diseases (p<.001), more medications (p<.001), and lower perceived health status (p<.001). In multiple linear regression analysis, the factors predicting fatigue were older age (p<.001), depression (p<.001), pain (p=.001), irregular exercise (p=.013), and lower perceived health status (p<.001). The explanatory power of the model was 47.5%.


Our study suggests that depression and pain were risk factors although engaging in light sports was a factor alleviating fatigue in older adults. The fatigue management strategies tailored to alleviate fatigue in older individuals by reducing these manageable risk factors are needed.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

General Characteristics and Health related Characteristics of Subjects (N=200)


Multiple responses.

Table 2

Level of Fatigue and Fatigue related Characteristics (N=200)


FSS=fatigue severity scale; NRS=numeric rating scale; Multiple responses.

Table 3

Fatigue according to Characteristics of Older Adults (N=200)


FSS=fatigue severity scale; Multiple responses; Mann-Whitney test; §Scheffé test.

Table 4

Correlation of Fatigue with Physical Activity in Older Adults (N=200)


X1=walking; X2=light sport; X3=moderate sport; X4=strenuous sport; X5=muscle strength and endurance; X6=household activity; X7=work-related activity.

Table 5

Factors Influencing Fatigue in Older Adults (N=200)


SE=standard error; Dummy variable: Regular exercise (0=yes, 1=no).


CONFLICTS OF INTEREST The authors declared no conflict of interest.


This article is a condensed form of the first author's master's thesis from Seoul National University.


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