DOES TREATMENT ALLEVIATE LYMPHEDEMA SYMPTOMS? A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY EVALUATING PATIENT PERSPECTIVES
- A Finnane
- M Janda
- SC Hayes
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.
Keywords: lymphedema, treatment, symptoms, patient-reported outcomes, compression, massage
How to Cite:
Finnane, A. & Janda, M. & Hayes, S., (2015) “DOES TREATMENT ALLEVIATE LYMPHEDEMA SYMPTOMS? A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY EVALUATING PATIENT PERSPECTIVES”, Lymphology 48(3), 110-120.