Learning Objective 1: Identify risk factors for lymph edema that can be attenuated by self-care strategies
Learning Objective 2: Evaluate the impact of evidence based strategies on behaviors of women following breast surgery
Although ten risk factors have been identified from review of high quality research on lymphedema, only four have the potential for mitigation; these are BMI, infection, injury, and repetitive hand/arm use. Providing education about risks and prevention strategies empowers the patients to take actions to prevent the occurrence/severity of lymphedema. This cohort study investigated the benefits of professional and patient education about lymphedema risk and prevention.
The primary aim was to increase the knowledge of nurses and patients regarding evidence based lymphedema risk minimization and prevention strategies. Content included risk identification and coaching patients about weight control, exercise, skin care, and avoiding affected hand/arm repetitive movements. A brochure was developed and pre-tested for use in the coaching of the patients. Pre and posttest of nurses’ and patients’ knowledge and measurement of patient behavior changes via survey was completed.
Bar Ad, V., Cheville, A., Solin, L. J., Dutta, P., Both, S., & Harris, E. E. (2010). Time course of mild arm lymphedema after breast conservation treatment for early-stage breast cancer. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 76(1), 85-90. doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.01.024
Soran, A., Wu, W. C., Dirican, A., Johnson, R., Andacoglu, O., & Wilson, J. (2011). Estimating the probability of lymphedema after breast cancer surgery. American Journal of Clinical Oncology, 34(5), 506-510. doi:10.1097/COC.0b013e3181f47955
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