Fu, M.R., Axelrod, D., & Haber, J. (2008). Breast-cancer-related lymphedema: Information, symptoms, and risk-reduction behaviors. Journal of Nursing Scholarship: An Official Publication of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing/Sigma Theta Tau, 40(4), 341–348.doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2008.00248.x
To explore the effect of providing lymphedema information on breast cancer survivors’ symptoms and practice of risk-reduction behaviors
All data collection was completed in person. The first author was available to answer questions and assist participants with physical disabilities (i.e., to provide help with reading, marking, or writing). Data were collected from August 22, 2006–May 1, 2007 in New York City, NY.
The study took place at New York University Cancer Center.
The study used a cross-sectional, descriptive design.
The study used the Lymphedema and Breast Cancer Questionnaire to assess lymphedema-related symptoms and the Lymphedema Risk-Reduction Behavior Checklist.
Fifty-seven percent of patients reported that they received lymphedema information. On average, participants had three lymphedema-related symptoms. Only 18% of participants were free of symptoms. Participants who received information reported significantly fewer symptoms (t = 3.03, p < 0.00) and practicing more risk-reduction behaviors (t = 2.42, p = 0.01).
Providing lymphedema information has an effect on symptom reduction and more risk-reduction behaviors being practiced among survivors of breast cancer.
In the study, nurses were ranked as the second-most important source of lymphedema information or education after pamphlets. In clinical practice, nurses and other healthcare professionals could consider taking the initiative to provide adequate and accurate information and engage survivors of breast cancer in supportive dialogues concerning lymphedema risk reduction