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DOI: 10.1016/j.conctc.2022.101039; PMCID: PMC9707024


OBJECTIVE: To describe protocol adaptations to the Fibromyalgia Integrative Training for Teens (FIT Teens) randomized controlled trial in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The overarching aims of the FIT Teens multi-site 3-arm comparative effectiveness trial are to assess whether a specialized neuromuscular exercise training intervention combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is superior to CBT alone or graded aerobic exercise alone.

DESIGN/METHODS: The trial was originally designed as an in-person, group-based treatment with assessments at baseline, mid- and post-treatment, and four follow-up time points. The original study design and methodology was maintained with specific modifications to screening, consenting, assessments, and group-based treatments to be delivered in remote (telehealth) format in response to COVID-19 restrictions.

RESULTS: Study enrollment was paused in March 2020 for five months to revise operations manuals, pilot remote treatment sessions for accuracy and fidelity, complete programming of REDCap assent/consent and assessment materials, train study staff for new procedures and obtain regulatory approvals. The trial was relaunched and has been successfully implemented in remote format since July 2020. Trial metrics thus far demonstrate a consistent rate of enrollment, strong attendance at remote treatment sessions, high retention rates and high treatment fidelity after protocol adaptations were implemented.

CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary findings indicate that FIT Teens protocol adaptations from in-person to remote are feasible and allowed for sustained enrollment, retention, and treatment fidelity comparable to the in-person format. Methodologic and statistical considerations resulting from the adaptations are discussed as well as implications for interpretation of results upon completion of the trial.

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Contemp Clin Trials Commun



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Cognitive behavioral therapy; Exercise intervention; Juvenile fibromyalgia; Neuromuscular training; Randomized controlled trial


This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license. (

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