Beck, M., Wanchai, A., Stewart, B.R., Cormier, J.N., & Armer, J.M. (2012). Palliative care for cancer-related lymphedema: A systematic review. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 15(7), 821–827.doi: 10.1089/jpm.2011.0494
To a conduct a systematic review of the published literature related to the effectiveness of cancer-related lymphedema management in palliative care
Patients were undergoing end-of-life and palliative care.
The study identified four categories of lymphedema in the palliative care settings.
Only a few studies (4 out of 11) included objective measures of outcomes. All studies were in the category of "Effectiveness Not Established" assessed by the Oncology Nursing Society Putting Evidence Into Practice classification.
A lack of rigorously designed clinical research studies have been conducted pertaining to the treatment of lymphedema in patients with advanced or metastatic cancer.
This systematic review indicated that the identified procedures (closed-controlled subcutaneous drainage, MLD, compression therapy, and CDT) are relatively safe. Nurses may consider recommending these procedures to individuals with lymphedema and advanced or metastatic cancer. Nurse scientists need to conduct more rigorously designed studies to test the effectiveness of management of cancer-related lymphedema in palliative care.