Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program
School of Nursing
lymphedema education, breast cancer-related lymphedema, lymphedema self-care
Background and Significance: With breast cancer effecting women at much younger ages and modern treatments prolonging the life span, survivors are at increased risk of developing breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL), a chronic, progressive condition that can cause disability.
Purpose: The purpose of the project was to determine the level of knowledge and awareness of BCRL in newly diagnosed breast cancer clients; and to provided education on self-care after treatment, using of a self-management lymphedema toolkit (SMLT), to decrease risks of treatment-related lymphedema, improve self-efficacy, and enhance quality of life (QOL).
Methods: Newly diagnosed breast cancer clients (N=10) from the Breast Health Services Center (BHSC) completed surveys and questionnaires on demographics, awareness, risks, and symptoms of BCRL, physical functioning, and QOL.
Interventions: All clients were given educational information and instruction on prevention, risk reduction, and self-care as part of the SMLT. This was followed-up at 5-weeks and 10-weeks, along with a post education assessment and evaluation.
Results and Implications: The resulting data showed the SMLT significantly increased client’s knowledge on BCRL, and increased self-efficacy for prevention, risk-reduction, and recognition of signs and symptoms of disease. Most importantly, the results showed that lymphedema education has a significant impact on improving health outcomes and decreasing the cost burden of this disease.
Conclusion: It is recommended that lymphedema education be implemented early and ongoing in the breast cancer care plan, and that healthcare providers be knowledgeable about BCRL to better serve the clients.
Gray, Kescia, "Improving Lymphedema Self-Management and Screening in Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer Clients Through the Use of a Self-Management Lymphedema Toolkit" (2021). Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Manuscripts. 21.