Research Output

A randomized controlled crossover study of manual lymphatic drainage therapy in women with breast cancer-related lymphoedema.

  This paper describes a randomized controlled crossover study examining the effects of manual lymphatic
drainage (MLD) in 31 women with breast cancer-related lymphoedema. MLD is a type of massage used in
combination with skin care, support/compression therapy and exercise in the management of lymphoedema.
A modified version of MLD, referred to as simple lymphatic drainage (SLD), is commonly taught as a selfhelp
measure. There has been limited research into the efficacy of MLD and SLD. The study reported here
explores the effects of MLD and SLD on a range of outcome measures. The findings demonstrate that MLD
significantly reduces excess limb volume (difference, d = 71, 95% CI = 16–126, P = 0.013) and reduced dermal
thickness in the upper arm (d = 0.15, 95% CI = 0.12–0.29, P = 0.03). Quality of life, in terms of emotional
function (d = 7.2, 95% CI = 2.3–12.1, P = 0.006), dyspnoea (d = -4.6, 95% CI = -9.1 to -0.15, P = 0.04) and
sleep disturbance (d = -9.2, 95% CI = -17.4 to -1.0, P = 0.03), and a number of altered sensations, such as pain
and heaviness, were also significantly improved by MLD. The study provides evidence to support the use of
MLD in women with breast cancer-related lymphoedema. The limitations of the study are outlined and future
areas for study are highlighted.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    01 December 2002

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Blackwell

  • DOI:

    10.1046/j.1365-2354.2002.00312.x

  • ISSN:

    1365-2354

  • Library of Congress:

    RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)

Citation

Williams, A., Vadgama, A., Franks, P. & Mortimer, P. S. (2002). A randomized controlled crossover study of manual lymphatic drainage therapy in women with breast cancer-related lymphoedema. European journal of cancer care. 11, 254-261. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2354.2002.00312.x. ISSN 1365-2354

Keywords

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD); Breast cancer-related lymphoedema; lymphoedema therapy; Combined decongestive therapy (CDT)

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