Navigation Links
Individualized care best for lymphedema patients, MU researcher says

COLUMBIA, Mo. Millions of American cancer survivors experience chronic discomfort as a result of lymphedema, a common side effect of surgery and radiation therapy in which affected areas swell due to protein-rich fluid buildup. After reviewing published literature on lymphedema treatments, a University of Missouri researcher says emphasizing patients' quality of life rather than focusing solely on reducing swelling is critical to effectively managing the condition.

Jane Armer, professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing and director of nursing research at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, said many insurance providers and health care professionals assess whether lymphedema patients need treatment based solely on how swollen their limbs are. However, several studies have shown that the volume of fluid doesn't necessarily correspond with patients' discomfort.

"Practitioners need to treat the swelling while considering patients' distress. We don't want to burden them with unnecessary or ineffective treatments," Armer said. "Health care providers should focus on managing symptoms and choose carefully among various treatments to provide individualized care plans that comfort patients, which may require modifying existing protocols."

In their literature review, Armer and her colleagues found that Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), a comprehensive approach for treating lymphedema involving skin care, exercise, manual lymphatic drainage and compression of the swollen limbs, may be the best form of specialized lymphedema management.

"Patients have different medical needs and come from culturally diverse backgrounds. They have different goals, support systems, pain levels and treatment tolerances. All these factors influence patients' responses to care, which affects their well-being," said Marcia Beck, a review co-author and an MU graduate who now works at Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City, Mo.

"Caring for lymphedema patients should be flexible and adjusted to maintain patients' quality of life," said Ausanee Wanchai, another co-author who received her doctorate at MU and now teaches at Boromarajonani College of Nursing in Buddhachinnaraj, Thailand.

In a separate literature review, the researchers found that Intermittent Pneumatic Compression (IPC) therapy, in which sequential inflatable devices surrounding swollen limbs are used to increase lymphatic circulation, is beneficial as an adjunct therapy for chronic lymphedema patients who have limited or no access to medical care; patients can use the compression devices in their homes.

Armer said further research is needed to demonstrate the usefulness of various lymphedema treatments, such as CDT and IPC. The literature reviews were the third and fourth in a series of 12 to be published in conjunction with the American Lymphedema Framework Project (ALFP). As director of the ALFP, Armer works alongside clinical experts and investigators to increase awareness of lymphedema and related disorders. The ALFP was founded in 2008 and is headquartered at the MU Center for Lymphedema Research, Practice and Health Policy. Its steering committee and staff currently are partnering with the International Lymphedema Framework (ILF) in producing an updated edition of the ILF Best Practice Document from 2006.

Contact: Jesslyn Chew
University of Missouri-Columbia

Related medicine news :

1. HIV drug reduces graft-vs.-host disease in bone marrow transplant patients, Penn study shows
2. Childs Scoliosis Stresses Patients, Parents: Study
3. Sleep improves functioning in Parkinsons patients, but reasons remain elusive
4. Doctors cite concern for patients, colleagues top motives for working sick
5. Just do it! not good enough for cancer patients, UR researchers say
6. Nordic Walking a Winner for Heart Failure Patients, Study Says
7. For Dementia Patients, Feeding Tubes May Increase Bed Sores
8. BUSM/VA researchers uncover gender differences in the effects of long-term alcoholism
9. Excellence Initiative winner TU München invests in the future: Young researchers
10. Clemson researchers collect and reuse enzymes while maintaining bioactivity
11. Clemson researcher awarded nearly $245,000 to study automation trust and dependence
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Individualized care best for lymphedema patients, MU researcher says
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily customize ... Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures into ... Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a ... Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at ... returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals ... also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an ... of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a ... Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, ... their offering. Surgical ... business planners, provides surgical procedure volume data in a ... an in-depth analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, including ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... The Biotechnology industry might still ... great opportunities to investors. assesses the recent performances ... XON ), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ARNA ), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... your complimentary trade alerts at: ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Leading BioSciences ... address medical conditions resulting from a breakdown of ... appointed Greg Doyle as chief executive ... BioSciences, executive management team and board of directors, ... financial officer. He will provide continued leadership and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: