Impact of a Multimodal and Combination Therapy on Self-Regulation and Internal Coherence in German Breast Cancer Survivors With Chronic Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Mixed-Method Comprehensive Cohort Design Study

Integr Cancer Ther. 2020 Jan-Dec;19:1534735420935618. doi: 10.1177/1534735420935618.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Cancer Survivors*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Fatigue / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Self-Control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors

Associated data

  • DRKS/DRKS00003736