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Vol 7, No 2 (2008)
Original articles
Published online: 2008-06-27
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An assessement of the quality of life in patients with chronic lymphoedema treated by complex decongestive therapy/CDT

Justyna Bieda, Maciej Sopata
Advances in Palliative Medicine 2008;7(2):47-54.

open access

Vol 7, No 2 (2008)
Original articles
Published online: 2008-06-27

Abstract

Background. Lymphoedema is an accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the interstitial space. Long-lasting lymphoedema leads to chronic inflammation, fibrosis and tissue damage. Lymphoedema seriously affects a patient's body image, daily activities and mobility. At present, there is no curative treatment: the aim of lymphoedema management is long-term symptom control and an improvement in the health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
Aim. The aim of this study was to assess the following: - the effect of complex decongestive therapy (CDT) on the quality of life of lymphoedema patients; - the effect of CDT on clinical symptom relief; - changes in HRQoL domains as defined in the SF-12 questionnaire.
Methods. 30 patients were enrolled into a treatment group in a Lymphoedema Clinic. We assessed physical symptoms such as pain, heaviness, mobility, the fitting of clothes and body presentation at the beginning of the study, again after two weeks of intensive treatment and then after 4 months of maintenance therapy. Patients completed the SF-12 questionnaire at the beginning and at the end of the study.
Results. The research revealed that complex intensive therapy significantly improves both physical and mental aspects of HRQoL. No correlation between HRQoL improvement and limb volume reduction has been found. CDT and the intensive phase of treatment in particular improved the fit of clothes and limb presentation, relieved pain and heaviness, and also improved limb mobility.

Abstract

Background. Lymphoedema is an accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the interstitial space. Long-lasting lymphoedema leads to chronic inflammation, fibrosis and tissue damage. Lymphoedema seriously affects a patient's body image, daily activities and mobility. At present, there is no curative treatment: the aim of lymphoedema management is long-term symptom control and an improvement in the health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
Aim. The aim of this study was to assess the following: - the effect of complex decongestive therapy (CDT) on the quality of life of lymphoedema patients; - the effect of CDT on clinical symptom relief; - changes in HRQoL domains as defined in the SF-12 questionnaire.
Methods. 30 patients were enrolled into a treatment group in a Lymphoedema Clinic. We assessed physical symptoms such as pain, heaviness, mobility, the fitting of clothes and body presentation at the beginning of the study, again after two weeks of intensive treatment and then after 4 months of maintenance therapy. Patients completed the SF-12 questionnaire at the beginning and at the end of the study.
Results. The research revealed that complex intensive therapy significantly improves both physical and mental aspects of HRQoL. No correlation between HRQoL improvement and limb volume reduction has been found. CDT and the intensive phase of treatment in particular improved the fit of clothes and limb presentation, relieved pain and heaviness, and also improved limb mobility.
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Keywords

lymphoedema; complex decongestive therapy; quality of life

About this article
Title

An assessement of the quality of life in patients with chronic lymphoedema treated by complex decongestive therapy/CDT

Journal

Advances in Palliative Medicine

Issue

Vol 7, No 2 (2008)

Pages

47-54

Published online

2008-06-27

Bibliographic record

Advances in Palliative Medicine 2008;7(2):47-54.

Keywords

lymphoedema
complex decongestive therapy
quality of life

Authors

Justyna Bieda
Maciej Sopata

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