Hayes, S.C., Reul-Hirche, H., & Turner, J. (2009). Exercise and secondary lymphedema: Safety, potential benefits, and research issues. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(3), 483-489.doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31818b98fb
To investigate the effect of participating in a supervised, mixed-type exercise program on lymphedema status among women with lymphedema after breast cancer
All measures were assessed before the intervention, immediately after the intervention, and at 12-week follow-up and were conducted by the same assessor who was blinded to participant group allocation. Participants were randomly allocated to the intervention group or the control group after being assessed before the intervention. The intervention involved a 12-week, mixed-type exercise program, including aerobic and resistance exercise.
The study took place in an outpatient setting in Queensland.
The study used a randomized controlled trial design.
There were no significant differences in lymphedema status at baseline or changes between testing phases observed between the intervention and control groups.
Women with lymphedema can safely participate in this type of education.
Nurses should be aware that, at minimum, exercise does not exacerbate secondary lymphedema. Women with secondary lymphedema should be encouraged to be physically active, optimizing their physical and psychosocial recovery.