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An Enhanced Self-Care Protocol for People Affected by Moderate to Severe Lymphedema

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Douglass, Janet, Mableson, Hayley E., Martindale, Sarah and Kelly-Hope, Louise A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3330-7629 (2019) 'An Enhanced Self-Care Protocol for People Affected by Moderate to Severe Lymphedema'. Methods and Protocols, Vol 2, Issue 3, p. 77.

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Abstract

Lymphedema is a chronic skin disease that has many causes and leads to significant disfigurement and disability worldwide. Recommendations for lymphedema self-care vary by setting and the World Health Organization guidelines for people affected by lymphatic filariasis- and podoconiosis-related lymphedema are centered around a basic daily hygiene regimen. Research on cancer-related lymphedema in developed country settings suggests that deep-breathing exercises and self-massage can improve lymphedema status, but these exercises are not routinely taught to people affected by lymphedema in developing country settings. To determine if the activities proven in cancer-related lymphedema can improve outcomes for people affected by lymphatic filariasis- or podoconiosis-related lymphedema, an enhanced self-care protocol for lower limb lymphedema was developed and trialed in Nilphamari District in Bangladesh and Simada Woreda in Ethiopia. Enhanced self-care activities were chosen on the basis that they would not add financial burden to patients or their families and included recommendations to perform deep-breathing exercises and self-massage, drink clean water, and eat fresh fruits and vegetables. The enhanced-care protocol was developed in collaboration with implementing partners in both countries and may be applicable in other populations affected by lower-limb lymphedema. Trial methods and results will be submitted for peer reviewed publication. Current recommendations for lymphedema self-care may be less effective for people with more advanced disease and new or cross-cutting methods are needed to improve outcomes for these populations.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WB Practice of Medicine > Therapeutics > WB 327 Self care
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 880 Filariasis and related conditions (General)
WH Hemic and Lymphatic Systems > Lymphatic System > WH 700 Lymphatic system. Lymphatic diseases (General)
WR Dermatology > WR 140 Skin diseases (General)
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.3390/mps2030077
Depositing User: Cathy Waldron
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2019 13:24
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 13:24
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/12548

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