Journal articlesManaging chronic oedema in community settings

Managing chronic oedema in community settings

15/09/17 | Assessment and diagnosis, Lymphoedema, Research | Joan Humphreys, Melanie J Thomas, Karen Morgan

The aim of this rapid-evidence assessment of the literature is to assess the existing evidence relating to the management of cancer and non-cancer related chronic oedema/Lymphoedema in the community setting. Methods: Using the PICO (Patient/Population/Problem Intervention Comparison Outcomes) method online journal databases MEDLINE, CINAHL and PUBMED, were searched between June 2016 and August 2016. Additional studies were identified through searching bibliographies of related publications and using the Google Scholar internet search function. The following search terms were used in line with the different PICO domains: chronic oedema; Lymphoedema; exercise; compression hosiery; compression bandages; bandages; hosiery; stockings; self-care; self-management; Health-related quality of life; managing chronic oedema; cost of; burden of; economic evaluation; QALY. Results: Fifty nine potentially relevant abstracts were found from the search. Twenty one papers were chosen for inclusion in the final review – eight US studies, four UK studies, one joint UK and Canadian study, four Australian studies, two German studies and one study each from Japan and Italy. The papers were thematically categorised (based on health-related quality of life and cost burden outcomes of the study) by Self-managing chronic oedema, Exercise, Compression devices, Dressings/Stockings, Quality of life and Cost studies/Economic burden. Conclusion: There is sufficient evidence in the literature that suggests promoting self-management of lymphoedema, the quality of life of lymphoedema patients and the correct use of bandages and stockings is vitally important to clinical practice. Moreover, these issues have a major impact in the health outcomes of patients in the community. This review is a valuable addition to the evidence base for both the care and management of lymphoedema, and an opportunity to add valuable research into the economic burden of the disease.