Bioelectrical impedance self-measurement protocol development and daily variation between healthy volunteers and breast cancer survivors with lymphedema.

Ridner SH, Bonner CM, Doersam JK, Rhoten BA, Schultze B, Dietrich MS
Lymphat Res Biol. 2014 12 (1): 2-9

PMID: 24502422 · PMCID: PMC3961792 · DOI:10.1089/lrb.2013.0020

BACKGROUND - A significant percentage of breast cancer survivors are at risk for lymphedema for which lifelong self-care is required. Previous studies suggest that less than 50% of breast cancer survivors with lymphedema (BCS-LE) perform prescribed self-care tasks and that even wearing a compression sleeve, the most commonly reported self-care activity, is done irregularly. Reasons for poor self-care adherence include perceived lack of results from self-care (no available arm volume data) and perceived inability to manage the condition.

METHODS AND RESULTS - A two-part pilot study was conducted to: 1) develop and determine the feasibility of a self-measurement protocol using a single frequency bioelectrical impedance device; and 2) examine daily variation in extracellular volume in healthy and lymphedematous limbs. Healthy and BCS-LE volunteers were recruited to refine and test a self-measurement protocol. Volunteers were trained in the use of the device and measured for 5 consecutive days in a laboratory setting. They were then given the device to use at home for an additional 5 consecutive days of self-measurement. All volunteers completed each scheduled home measurement. Daily variability in both groups was noted.

CONCLUSIONS - Home self-measurement using bioelectrical impedance is feasible, acceptable, and captures change. This has implications for both self-care support and for the possibility of incorporating self-measurement using bioelectrical impedance in future clinical trials examining effectiveness of lymphedema treatment.

MeSH Terms (15)

Adult Aged Arm Breast Neoplasms Electric Impedance Feasibility Studies Female Healthy Volunteers Humans Lymphedema Middle Aged Patient Compliance Pilot Projects Self-Examination Survivors

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