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Rehabil Nurs. 2015 Sep-Oct;40(5):310-9. doi: 10.1002/rnj.171. Epub 2014 Jul 17.

Factors Associated with Reported Infection and Lymphedema Symptoms among Individuals with Extremity Lymphedema.

Author information

  • 1School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA.
  • 2College of Nursing, New York University, New York, NY, USA.
  • 3Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.
  • 4UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas, Houston, TX, USA.
  • 5Department of Family Studies & Social Work, Miami University, Oxford, OH, USA.
  • 6National Lymphedema Network, San Francisco, CA, USA.
  • 7Cox Health Outpatient Rehabilitation, Springfield, MO, USA.
  • 8Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center, Stony Brook Medicine, Stony Brook, NY, USA.



This study aimed to examine factors associated with reported infection and symptoms among individuals with extremity lymphedema.


A cross-sectional study was used.


Data were collected from a survey supported by the National Lymphedema Network from March 2006 through January 2010. A total of 1837 participants reported having extremity lymphedema. Logistic regression analyses were used.


Factors associated with reported infection among individuals with extremity lymphedema included male gender, decreased annual household income, decreased self-care, self-report of heaviness, and lower extremity as opposed to upper extremity. Factors associated with symptoms included infection, decreased self-care, lower knowledge level of self-care, decreased annual household income, and presence of secondary lower extremity lymphedema.


Select factors of income, self-care status, and site of lymphedema were associated with increased occurrence of infection and symptoms among individuals with extremity lymphedema. Longitudinal studies are needed to identify risk factors contributing to infections and symptoms in individuals with lymphedema.

© 2014 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.


Long-term care; evidence-based practice; infection; lymphedema; nurses; symptom

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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