Eurythmy therapy versus slow movement fitness in the treatment of fatigue in metastatic breast cancer patients: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
Delphine Meier-Girard, Karin Ribi, Gisa Gerstenberg, Thomas Ruhstaller, Ursula Wolf
Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is the most taxing symptom for many breast cancer patients during and after therapy. In patients with metastatic disease, the prevalence of CRF exceeds 75%. Currently, there is no gold standard for the treatment of CRF. Physical activity can reduce CRF and is recommended during and after cancer treatment, but may be too burdensome for patients with metastatic breast cancer. The aim of this study is to assess the effect on fatigue of eurythmy therapy (ERYT) compared
... o slow movement fitness (CoordiFit) in metastatic breast cancer patients. The ERYT/CoordiFit study is a randomized controlled, open-label, two-arm, multi-center Swiss clinical trial. A sample of 196 patients presenting with CRF will be recruited by oncologists from the departments of clinical oncology at each local study site. All participants will be randomly allocated to the intervention or control group in a 1:1 ratio. The control group is an active control intervention (CoordiFit) in order to control for potential non-intended effects such as therapist-patient interaction and participation in a program. Both ERYT and CoordiFit exercises are easy to learn, and the training sessions will follow the same frequency and duration schedule, i.e., 13 standardized therapy sessions of 45 min (once a week for 6 weeks and then once every second week) during the total intervention period of 20 weeks. The primary endpoint of the study is the change from baseline over the whole intervention period (i.e., including measurements at baseline, weeks 8, 14, and 20) in the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy - Fatigue (FACIT-F) subscale score. This study is the first-known randomized clinical trial assessing eurythmy therapy in the treatment of fatigue in metastatic breast cancer patients. Given the distress that fatigue causes patients, it is important to validate treatment options. If eurythmy therapy proves beneficial in CRF as part of this randomized controlled clinical trial, the study may be very impactful with implications not only for metastatic breast cancer patients but also for other cancer patients, health care personnel, scientists, and funding and regulatory bodies. The ERYT/CoordiFit trial was registered at the US National Institutes of Health (ClinicalTrials.gov) on July 18, 2019, #NCT04024267 , and in the portal for human research in Switzerland on December 3, 2019, #SNCTP000003525 .