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1.  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 
BMC Neurology  2010;10:56.
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 ≥ 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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-10-56
PMCID: PMC2906431  PMID: 20591139
2.  Exercise therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy to improve fatigue, daily activity performance and quality of life in Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome: the protocol of the FACTS-2-PPS trial 
BMC Neurology  2010;10:8.
Background
Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome (PPS) is a complex of late onset neuromuscular symptoms with new or increased muscle weakness and muscle fatigability as key symptoms. Main clinical complaints are severe fatigue, deterioration in functional abilities and health related quality of life. Rehabilitation management is the mainstay of treatment. Two different therapeutic interventions may be prescribed (1) exercise therapy or (2) cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). However, the evidence on the effectiveness of both interventions is limited. The primary aim of the FACTS-2-PPS trial is to study the efficacy of exercise therapy and CBT for reducing fatigue and improving activities and quality of life in patients with PPS. Additionally, the working mechanisms, patients' and therapists' expectations of and experiences with both interventions and cost-effectiveness will be evaluated.
Methods/Design
A multi-centre, single-blinded, randomized controlled trial will be conducted. A sample of 81 severely fatigued patients with PPS will be recruited from 3 different university hospitals and their affiliate rehabilitation centres. Patients will be randomized to one of three groups i.e. (1) exercise therapy + usual care, (2) CBT + usual care, (3) usual care. At baseline, immediately post-intervention and at 3- and 6-months follow-up, fatigue, activities, quality of life and secondary outcomes will be assessed. Costs will be based on a cost questionnaire, and statistical analyses on GEE (generalized estimated equations). Analysis will also consider mechanisms of change during therapy. A responsive evaluation will be conducted to monitor the implementation process and to investigate the perspectives of patients and therapists on both interventions.
Discussion
A major strength of the FACTS-2-PPS study is the use of a mixed methods design in which a responsive and economic evaluation runs parallel to the trial. The results of this study will generate new evidence for the rehabilitation treatment of persons with PPS.
Trial registration
Dutch Trial Register NTR1371.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-10-8
PMCID: PMC2821386  PMID: 20082714

Results 1-2 (2)