Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2024 , Vol 70 , Num 2

Adherence to complete decongestive therapy in patients with postmastectomy lymphedema and related factors

Habibe Kandasoglu 1 ,Sibel Unsal Delialioglu 2
1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Health Sciences, Ankara Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Türkiye
2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Health Sciences Ankara City Hospital, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Hospital, Ankara, Türkiye
DOI : 10.5606/tftrd.2024.12178 Objectives: The study aimed to determine the rates of adherence to phase 2 components of complex decongestive therapy (CDT) and related factors among patients with postmastectomy lymphedema.

Patients and methods: This cross-sectional study included 90 female patients (mean age: 54.4±8.0 years; range, 24 to 65 years) with unilateral postmastectomy lymphedema who completed chemotherapy or radiotherapy and had previously undergone CDT phase 1 at our clinic or elsewhere between May 2018 and May 2019. Patients were included in the study at their usual visit to the lymphedema polyclinic. After physical examination, study questionnaires that involved patients` demographic and clinic data and Lymphedema Quality of Life scores were recorded. Patients who applied CDT phase 2 methods four days a week or more frequently were considered adherent, while those who applied these methods less frequently or who never applied these methods were considered nonadherent. The body mass index (BMI) scores were classified based on the criteria of the World Health Organization.

Results: Lymphedema stages of the patients were Stage I in 33.3% (n=30), Stage II in 60% (n=54), and Stage III in 6.7% (n=6). The rates of adherence were 74.4% (n=67) for skin care, 46.6% (n=42) for compression garment use, 42.2% (n=38) for self-massage, 42.2% (n=38) for exercise, and 18.8% (n=17) for multilayer bandaging. The rate of adherence to the multilayer bandaging method was found to be significantly higher in the obese group (BMI >30) than in the other BMI groups.

Conclusion: Patient adherence to CDT phase 2 was not sufficient except for the skin care component. There was a significant relationship between BMI and adherence to multilayer bandaging. Keywords : Adherence to treatment, complex decongestive therapy, lymphedema, postmastectomy lymphedema