Does treatment alleviate lymphedema symptoms? A cross-sectional study evaluating patient perspectives

Finnane, Anna R., Janda, Monika, & Hayes, Sandra C. (2015) Does treatment alleviate lymphedema symptoms? A cross-sectional study evaluating patient perspectives. Lymphology, 48(3), pp. 110-120.

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Abstract

Most studies evaluating lymphedema treatment effect focus on objective reductions in limb volume, with little attention given to subjective treatment outcomes. The objective of this work was to describe the range of lymphedema symptoms experienced by patients and the importance of symptom improvement following treatment. The second aim was to explore lymphedema treatment use and the effect of individual treatments on symptoms, from the patient's perspective. Australian adults with lymphedema (n = 421) completed a self-administered questionnaire. Information was collected about patients' symptoms, the importance of symptom improvement following treatment, as well as treatment types used and perceived effectiveness of each treatment. In addition to swelling, the vast majority of participants experienced heaviness and tightness in the affected region. Overall, symptoms of lymphedema varied between individuals but the majority considered subjective symptom improvement to be an important outcome of treatment. The most commonly used treatments were compression garments, self-massage, prescribed exercises, and manual lymph drainage, and the majority (95%) of participants had used multiple treatments to manage their lymphedema. The impact of treatments on subjective symptoms varies widely between treatments. Consequently, in addition to objective measures of swelling, it is important to include patient-reported outcomes in future prospective lymphedema treatment studies.

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ID Code: 98345
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: lymphedema, treatment, swelling, self- massage, manual lymph drainage, patient-reported outcomes
ISSN: 0024-7766
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 International Society Of Lymphology
Deposited On: 26 Aug 2016 02:07
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2016 08:09

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