Semin Oncol Nurs 2013 Feb;29(1):50-60
New York University, College of Nursing, New York, NY, USA.
Objectives: To summarize the evidence of and identify factors influencing the psychosocial impact of lymphedema, as well as to discuss nursing strategies.
Data Sources: Peer-reviewed publications from 2004 to 2011 in 11 major medical indices.
Conclusion: Poorer overall health-related quality of life was reported among cancer survivors with lymphedema. The consistent, detailed, and vivid descriptions from the qualitative studies suggest that cancer-related lymphedema exerts tremendous negative psychosocial impact, which quantitative studies failed to capture.
Implications For Nursing Practice: Nursing strategies include helping patients to build a routine for daily care, setting goals, exercise, positive self-talk, providing helpful resources, and organizing support groups. Professional organizations should devote resources to public education through television advertisement, public meetings, and online education.