Chan, D.N., Lui, L.Y., & So, W.K. (2010). Effectiveness of exercise programmes on shoulder mobility and lymphoedema after axillary lymph node dissection for breast cancer: Systematic review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(9), 1902–1914.doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05374.x
To review the effectiveness of exercise programs on shoulder mobility and lymphoedema in patients with breast cancer after having axillary lymph node dissection as revealed by randomized controlled trials
The total number of studies initially reviewed was 325. A quantitative effectiveness review was used with levels of evidence defined by the Joanna Briggs Institute.
Early rather than delayed onset of training did not affect the incidence of postoperative lymphoedema, but early introduction of exercises was valuable in avoiding deterioration in range of shoulder motion.
Nurses have an important role in educating and encouraging patients to practice these exercises to speed up recovery.