Background: Approximately one third of all patients who have been successfully treated for cancer suffer from chronic cancer-related fatigue (CCRF). Effective and easily accessible interventions are needed for these patients.

Objective: The current paper reports on the results of a 3-armed randomized controlled trial investigating the clinical effectiveness of two different guided Web-based interventions for reducing CCRF compared to an active control condition.

Methods: Severely fatigued cancer survivors were recruited via online and offline channels, and self-registered on an open-access website. After eligibility checks, 167 participants were randomized via an embedded automated randomization function into: (1) physiotherapist-guided Ambulant Activity Feedback (AAF) therapy encompassing the use of an accelerometer (n=62); (2) psychologist-guided Web-based mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (eMBCT; n=55); or (3) an unguided active control condition receiving psycho-educational emails (n=50). All interventions lasted nine weeks. Fatigue severity was self-assessed using the Checklist Individual Strength - Fatigue Severity subscale (primary outcome) six times from baseline (T0b) to six months (T2). Mental health was self-assessed three times using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (secondary outcome). Treatment dropout was investigated.

Results: Multiple group latent growth curve analysis, corrected for individual time between assessments, showed that fatigue severity decreased significantly more in the AAF and eMBCT groups compared to the psycho-educational group. The analyses were checked by a researcher who was blind to allocation. Clinically relevant changes in fatigue severity were observed in 66% (41/62) of patients in AAF, 49% (27/55) of patients in eMBCT, and 12% (6/50) of patients in psycho-education. Dropout was 18% (11/62) in AAF, mainly due to technical problems and poor usability of the accelerometer, and 38% (21/55) in eMBCT, mainly due to the perceived high intensity of the program.

Conclusions: Both the AAF and eMBCT interventions are effective for managing fatigue severity compared to receiving psycho-educational emails.

Bruggeman-Everts, F. Z., Wolvers, M. D., van de Schoot, R., Vollenbroek-Hutten, M. M., & Van der Lee, M. L. (2017). Effectiveness of Two Web-Based Interventions for Chronic Cancer-Related Fatigue Compared to an Active Control Condition: Results of the “Fitter na kanker” Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research19(10), e336. DOI: 10.2196/jmir.7180

Trial Registration: NTR3483;

Former team member

In June 2012 I started my PhD project at the Helen Dowling Institute, which is a mental healthcare facility for cancer patients. There, I quantitatively investigated the effectiveness of two eHealth interventions for...

Former team member

The analyses of two of the chapters of her PhD thesis are performed with Bayesian statistics in MPlus. Rens is copromotor (defence is March 3rd), thesis titled A coach in your pocket. On chronic cancer-related fatigue and...