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Παρασκευή, 22 Ιουνίου 2018

Experiences of breast cancer related lymphoedema and the use of reflexology for managing swelling: A qualitative study

Abstract

Background and purpose

An estimated 1 in 5 women surviving breast cancer will go on to develop breast cancer related lymphoedema (BCRL). There is a gap in the literature capturing experiences of people living with BCRL who use complementary therapies.

Materials and methods

Data were collected from 26 participants via a semi-structured interview. Questioning centred around their personal experiences of living with lymphoedema, and their use of reflexology lymphatic drainage.

Results

Four main themes emerged which comprised physical and psycho-social impacts of lymphoedema, experiences of physical change, and the return of optimism. RLD treatment was considered pleasant and non invasive, and the reduction in swelling helped with pain and mobility.

Conclusion

The main conclusion from this qualitative evaluation was that participants perceived benefit on physical and psychological levels. Participation in the study appeared to help re-engagement with normal life. Further research is needed to quantify the changes in these parameters.

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Lymphoedema
  • Lymphedema
  • Reflexology lymphatic drainage