Uphill both ways: Fatigue and quality of life in valley fever

Ashley L. Garrett, Yu Hui H. Chang, Kathleen Ganley, Janis E. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Primary pulmonary coccidioidomycosis is characterized by prolonged respiratory and systemic symptoms and fatigue. We prospectively administered the fatigue severity scale (FSS) and Short Form-36 Health Status Questionnaire (SF-36) to patients with proven or probable primary pulmonary coccidioidomycosis to quantify disease effect on quality of life (QOL). The 24-week observational study did not specify whether antifungal treatment would be provided; the treating physician made treatment decisions. FSS and SF-36 were completed at 4-week intervals. Thirty-six patients participated, of whom 20 received antifungal treatment. At onset of coccidioidal illness, mean FSS score was higher (ie, more fatigue) in the treatment group. However, in early illness, both groups had higher fatigue levels than reference populations with other diseases (eg, multiple sclerosis). FSS scores gradually improved, and scores in each group were below the severe fatigue level at week 12 and week 16 in the nontreatment and treatment groups, respectively. By week 24, mean FSS score of the nontreatment group equaled the general population. SF-36 component and profile scores were lower (with more symptoms) in the treatment group at each time point than the nontreatment group; both groups showed similar improvement. Mental and emotional health SF-36 scores were not as severely affected as physical scores. Most patients reached a physical functioning level similar to the general population at week 12. Pulmonary coccidioidomycosis causes severe fatigue and substantially affects physical abilities. Fatigue was found to be prolonged, with gradual improvement in QOL, regardless of antifungal administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-317
Number of pages8
JournalMedical mycology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 14 2016


  • coccidioidomycosis
  • fatigue
  • health-related quality of life
  • valley fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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