Vignes, S., Porcher, R., Arrault, M., & Dupuy, A. (2011). Factors influencing breast cancer-related lymphedema volume after intensive decongestive physiotherapy. Supportive Care in Cancer: Official Journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 19(7), 935–940.doi: 10.1007/s00520-010-0906-x
To analyze factors associated with treatment failure and success in lymphedema
All patients underwent complete decongestive therapy (CDT) with manual drainage, multilayer low-stretch bandages and specific exercises and skin care as recommended in international consensus guidelines. Patients were followed at 6 and 12 months and then yearly. At each patients were questioned about actual treatments used and responses were recorded
The study used a descriptive design.
MLD did not appear to reduce the risk of treatment failure for lymphedema. Compression therapy appears to be the main factor in stabilizing lymphedema volume.
Findings add to the growing body of evidence pointing to the critical nature of patient compliance with compression sleeves and bandaging over time for ongoing effective management of lymphedema. Findings suggested that being overweight may also contribute to potential for treatment failure. Nursing measures to provide support for treatment adherence and weight control are important areas for patient care. Interventions to facilitate adherence to compression therapy should be researched.