This study aimed to examine the effect of aerobic exercise training (AET) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) on chronic fatigue in individuals with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). After treatment the AET (28 participants) as well as the CBT (25 participants) intervention groups had decreased fatigue relative to the UC group (24 participants), with a difference of -9.1 for AET (95% confidence interval [CI] -12.4 to -5.8) and -13.3 for CBT (95% CI -16.5 to -10.2). These beneficial effects were retained through follow-up, with a difference of -8.2 for AET (95% CI -12.4 to -5.8) and -10.2 for CBT (95% CI -14.0 to -6.3). The patients who received CBT had an increase in registered and experienced physical activity, sleep quality, and social participation. The patients who received AET had an increase in registered physical activity only. The increase in registered physical activity in both groups and the improvement in social participation after CBT were still present at follow-up.
This RCT demonstrated that AET and CBT can decrease the symptoms of chronic fatigue in patients with FSHD.