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BMC Neurol. 2010 Jun 30;10:56. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-10-56.

Effect of aerobic exercise training and cognitive behavioural therapy on reduction of chronic fatigue in patients with facioscapulohumeral dystrophy: protocol of the FACTS-2-FSHD trial.

Author information

1
Nijmegen Centre for Evidence Based Practice; Department of Rehabilitation, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. N.Voet@reval.umcn.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD) muscle function is impaired and declines over time. Currently there is no effective treatment available to slow down this decline. We have previously reported that loss of muscle strength contributes to chronic fatigue through a decreased level of physical activity, while fatigue and physical inactivity both determine loss of societal participation. To decrease chronic fatigue, two distinctly different therapeutic approaches can be proposed: aerobic exercise training (AET) to improve physical capacity and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to stimulate an active life-style yet avoiding excessive physical strain. The primary aim of the FACTS-2-FSHD (acronym for Fitness And Cognitive behavioural TherapieS/for Fatigue and ACTivitieS in FSHD) trial is to study the effect of AET and CBT on the reduction of chronic fatigue as assessed with the Checklist Individual Strength subscale fatigue (CIS-fatigue) in patients with FSHD. Additionally, possible working mechanisms and the effects on various secondary outcome measures at all levels of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) are evaluated.

METHODS/DESIGN:

A multi-centre, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled trial is conducted. A sample of 75 FSHD patients with severe chronic fatigue (CIS-fatigue > or = 35) will be recruited and randomized to one of three groups: (1) AET + usual care, (2) CBT + usual care or (3) usual care alone, which consists of no therapy at all or occasional (conventional) physical therapy. After an intervention period of 16 weeks and a follow-up of 3 months, the third (control) group will as yet be randomized to either AET or CBT (approximately 7 months after inclusion). Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, immediately post intervention and at 3 and 6 months follow up.

DISCUSSION:

The FACTS-2-FSHD study is the first theory-based randomized clinical trial which evaluates the effect and the maintenance of effects of AET and CBT on the reduction of chronic fatigue in patients with FSHD. The interventions are based on a theoretical model of chronic fatigue in patients with FSHD. The study will provide a unique set of data with which the relationships between outcome measures at all levels of the ICF could be assessed.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Dutch Trial Register, NTR1447.

PMID:
20591139
PMCID:
PMC2906431
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2377-10-56
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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