Experiences of breast cancer related lymphoedema and the use of reflexology for managing swelling: a qualitative study
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Background and purpose = An estimated 1 in 5 women surviving breast cancer will go on to develop breast cancer related lymphoedema (BCRL). There is a gap in the literature capturing experiences of people living with BCRL who use complementary therapies. Materials and methods = Data were collected from 26 participants via a semi-structured interview. Questioning centred around their personal experiences of living with lymphoedema, and their use of reflexology lymphatic drainage. Results = Four main themes emerged which comprised physical and psycho-social impacts of lymphoedema, experiences of physical change, and the return of optimism. RLD treatment was considered pleasant and non invasive, and the reduction in swelling helped with pain and mobility. Conclusion = The main conclusion from this qualitative evaluation was that participants perceived benefit on physical and psychological levels. Participation in the study appeared to help re-engagement with normal life. Further research is needed to quantify the changes in these parameters.
Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice;
Whatley, J., Street, R. and Kay, S. (2018) 'Experiences of breast cancer related lymphoedema and the use of reflexology for managing swelling: A qualitative study', Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 32, pp. 123-129
Article published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice on 12 June 2018 available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2018.06.006