Nursing and Health Vol. 3(3), pp. 69 - 83
DOI: 10.13189/nh.2015.030303
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Preoperative Lymphedema Education for Breast Cancer Patients

Holly M. Simmons *
JoAnne Gay Dishman, Department of Nursing, Lamar University, USA


The purpose of this research study was to determine whether a high level education session with a nurse during the preoperative clinic visit improved the patient's ability to identify signs, symptoms, and risk factors of lymphedema, which is a possible complication related to breast cancer surgery. The study used a pretest posttest descriptive research design. The participant sample included 23 female patients, scheduled to undergo either a sentinel node biopsy or an axillary dissection for their breast cancer. Prior to specific interventions, participants were given a baseline assessment to evaluate current knowledge of lymphedema and to collect demographic data. Post-education assessments were completed immediately after the educational sessions, and again at the participants post-operative clinic visit. Scores from all time points were examined, with the average score on patient surveys improving by nearly 15% after the education session, indicating that knowledge was retained. The results of the study suggest that a specific nurse guided education session with breast cancer surgery patients during the preoperative visit is effective in improving identification of lymphedema signs, symptoms and risk factors. Additional research into the effects of a continuing education program is warranted to improve upon knowledge retention and self-care practices.

Lymphedema, Education, Breast Cancer

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Holly M. Simmons , "Preoperative Lymphedema Education for Breast Cancer Patients," Nursing and Health, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 69 - 83, 2015. DOI: 10.13189/nh.2015.030303.

(b). APA Format:
Holly M. Simmons (2015). Preoperative Lymphedema Education for Breast Cancer Patients. Nursing and Health, 3(3), 69 - 83. DOI: 10.13189/nh.2015.030303.