The FACIT Measurement System is a collection of QOL questionnaires targeted to the management of chronic illness. “FACIT” (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy) was adopted as the formal name of the measurement system in 1997 to portray the expansion of the more familiar “FACT” (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy) series of questionnaires into other chronic illnesses and conditions. Thus, FACIT is a broader, more encompassing term that includes the FACT questionnaires under its umbrella.
The measurement system, under development since 1987, began with the creation of a generic CORE questionnaire called the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G). The FACT-G (now in Version 4) is a 27-item compilation of general questions divided into four primary QOL domains: Physical Well-Being, Social/Family Well-Being, Emotional Well-Being, and Functional Well-Being. It is considered appropriate for use with patients with any form of cancer, and has also been used and validated in other chronic illness condition (e.g., HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis) and in the general population (using a slightly modified version).
Validation of a core measure allowed for the evolution of multiple disease, treatment, condition, and non-cancer-specific subscales. FACIT scales are constructed to complement the FACT-G, addressing relevant disease-, treatment-, or condition-related issues not already covered in the general questionnaire. Each is intended to be as specific as necessary to capture the clinically-relevant problems associated with a given condition or symptom, yet general enough to allow for comparison across diseases, and extension, as appropriate, to other chronic medical conditions. The latest version of the FACIT Measurement System, Version 4, was designed to enhance clarity and precision of measurement without threatening its established reliability and validity (from Version 3). Formatting simplification, item-reduction, and rewording (standardizing items across scales) constitute the major areas of change from version 3 to 4. To facilitate the clinical utility of the FACIT system, new methods for computer acquisition, scoring, and display of data will be available. These additions and improvements will likely ease patient burden, expedite data collection and scoring, and further guide the clinician or researcher in meaningful interpretation.
There are over 50 different FACIT scales and symptom indexes. Equivalent foreign language versions of the FACIT questionnaires are now available in more than 50 different languages (for some scales), permitting cross-cultural comparisons of people from diverse backgrounds.