The purpose of this paper is to examine whether pain, depression, distress level, and loss of function experienced by breast cancer survivors with iatrogenic lymphedema are inter-related symptoms. A longitudinal pilot study was performed on women enrolled in the Lymphedema Program at Torrance Memorial Medical Center's Rehabilitation Center after having either had surgery or radiation treatment to the breast or axilla, and sentinel lymph node biopsy and/or axillary dissection.
The women were interviewed at four time points over a three-month period (at the start of the program, midway through the program, at the end of the program, and 1 month after completing the program). They completed questionnaires describing their levels of distress, depression, and functional status in relation to the amount of pain they had experienced during that week and the data were analyzed at the end of the study. Results show that, overall, a relationship exists between loss of function, distress, depression, and pain among the small number of lymphedema patients who received therapy and support during the eight-week program.
Further studies are needed with a larger sample size and with more consistent data collection methods and incentives in order to determine whether the intervention program provided by Torrance Memorial Medical Center contributes to improvements in the health related quality of life (HRQoL) of the women over time.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 48/04M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Physical therapy, Physiological psychology, Oncology|
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