Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Research Notes and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Determinants of fatigue and stress

Rüya D Kocalevent1*, Andreas Hinz3, Elmar Brähler3 and Burghard F Klapp2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Mental Health, University of Leipzig, Germany

2 Department of Psychosomatis, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany

3 Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, University of Leipzig, Germany

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:238  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-238

Published: 20 July 2011



Fatigue can be triggered by previous perceived stress which may lead to impairment of performance and function. The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between fatigue and perceived stress.


Health determinants including sociodemographic factors for associations between fatigue and perceived stress in the general population (N = 2,483) are outlined. Fatigue and stress were assessed with the Chalder Fatigue Scale (CFS) and the Perceived Stress Questionnaire (PSQ).


Within the general population, 25.9% of male and 34.5% of female respondents reported moderate fatigue during the last six months; 9.7% of subjects reported substantial fatigue lasting six months or longer. An adjusted regression analysis (R2corr = .28, p < .001) showed that fatigue is highest associated with perceived stress and self-perceived health status. The following factors were correlated with increased rates of fatigue and perceived stress: female gender, divorce/separation, low social class and poor health status.


We conclude that the two conditions overlap most in terms of socio-economic status and self-perceived health status.

Fatigue; stress perception; epidemiology; health determinants