Background: Recent studies have proved the relevance of salutogenetic variables for fatigue management in breast cancer survivors with cancer-related fatigue (CRF). This comprehensive cohort design study is the first to examine the impact of 2 multimodal therapies, multimodal therapy (MT) and combined therapy (CT), compared with standard aerobic training (AT) on salutogenetic variables (self-regulation and internal coherence) and distress in breast cancer survivors with CRF. Methods: A total of 105 patients started the therapies and n = 84 completed the Self-regulation Scale, the Internal Coherence Scale, the Cancer Fatigue Scale, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale at baseline, 10 weeks after treatment (T1) and n = 81 after 6 months (T2). Patient satisfaction and qualitative feedback regarding therapy quality was assessed at T1. A general linear model including allocation type, therapy arm (MT/CT/AT), and bias-adjusting propensity scores tested the superiority of both multimodal therapies versus AT for all questionnaires at T1 and T2. Results: MT and CT were superior to AT to improve self-regulation and patients' satisfaction at T1. Additionally, CT showed superiority for self-regulation at T2 (all P < .05). Compared with AT, internal coherence was significantly higher for patients in the MT arms at T2, respectively (all P < .01). Pearson's correlations between self-regulation, internal coherence, and CRF improved from baseline to T2 (Mean r = -0.60). Qualitative feedback confirmed patients' benefits in several health-related categories. Conclusions: Self-regulation and internal coherence are manipulable variables with relevant CRF associations. They can be positively affected by multimodal therapies. Alongside patients' satisfaction and qualitative feedback they help refine treatment.
Keywords: cancer-related fatigue; internal coherence scale; multimodal therapy; salutogenesis; self-regulation scale.