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Support Care Cancer. 2010 Mar;18(3):383-92. doi: 10.1007/s00520-009-0669-4. Epub 2009 Jun 3.

Aqua lymphatic therapy in women who suffer from breast cancer treatment-related lymphedema: a randomized controlled study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, "Maccabi Healthcare Services", Netivot, Israel.

Erratum in

  • Support Care Cancer. 2010 Mar;18(3):393.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Lymphedema is an adverse effect of breast cancer surgery. Aqua lymphatic therapy (ALT) is a novel treatment for limb volume reduction.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to examine whether ALT is a safe method and whether there are differences in adherence, limb volume, and quality of life between women who perform only self-management treatment and women who participate as well in ALT.

DESIGN:

Design of the study was single-blind randomized clinical trial.

SETTING:

The setting was in a hydrotherapy pool, 1.2 m depth, and a temperature of 32-33 degrees capital ES, Cyrillic.

PATIENTS:

Forty-eight women (56 +/- 10 years), with a 12.8% lymphedema relative volume, participated in the study.

INTERVENTION:

The control group was instructed to perform the self-management treatment. The study group joined a weekly session of ALT for 3 months in addition to the self-management therapy.

MEASUREMENTS:

Adherence was assessed by a self-reported diary, limb volume by a water displacement device, quality of life by the Upper Limb Lymphedema Questionnaire (ULL27), prior to, and after the intervention period.

RESULTS:

There was no episode of arm infection or aggravation in limb volume during the study period. ALT had a positive, statistically and clinically significant immediate effect on limb volume but no long-term effect was noted. The adherence rate to ALT was significantly higher than the adherence to self-management therapy. QOL improved in the study group.

CONCLUSION:

ALT was found to be a safe method, with high adherence, in treating women who suffer from mild to moderate lymphedema. A significant immediate and insignificant long-term effect on limb volume was noted.

PMID:
19495810
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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