Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2017 , Vol 63 , Num 4
Effects of complex decongestive therapy on quality of life, depression, neuropathic pain, and fatigue in women with breast cancer-related lymphedema
Hilal Yesil 1 ,Sibel Eyigör 2 ,İsmail Caramat 2 ,Rıdvan Işık 2
1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical Faculty of Afyon Kocatepe University, Afyon, Turkey
2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical Faculty of Ege University, İzmir, Turkey
DOI : 10.5606/tftrd.2017.779 Objectives: To investigate the effects of complex decongestive therapy (CDT) on the quality of life, depression, neuropathic pain, and fatigue in patients with breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL).

Patients and methods: Between March 2015 and June 2015, a total number of 60 patients (mean age 55.7±10.3 years; range 18 to 85 years) with BCRL were included in the study. Demographic data and previous medical records were recruited from medical files. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life- C30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) for the quality of life, the Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI) for fatigue, Douleur Neuropathique 4 Questions (DN4) for neuropathic pain, and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) for the emotional status were used before and after the treatment. All patients received 20 sessions (one hour) of CDT for four weeks (five days per week).

Results: There was a statistically significant reduction in the volume of the involved limbs after the treatment (p<0.001). There was also a significant reduction in the general health and functional scores of the EORTC QLQ-C30 (p<0.001, p=0.004, respectively). The DN4, BFI, and BDI scores were significantly improved after the treatment (p<0.001, p=0.043, p=0.019, respectively).

Conclusion: Our study results suggest that CDT is an effective and safe method to achieve not only a significant volume reduction in the limbs involved by lymphedema, but also good outcomes in the management of other symptoms related to BCRL. Keywords : Complex decongestive therapy; lymphedema; quality of life