Defense Date


Graduation Date

Winter 12-17-2021

Submission Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program


School of Nursing

Faculty Mentor

Manjulata Evatt


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.