Low Level Laser Therapy with bandaging may offer a time saving therapeutic option to conventional manual lymphatic drainage

Abstract

Purpose/Objectives

To examine the impact of advanced practice nurse (APN) administered low level laser therapy (LLLT) as both a stand-alone and complementary treatment for arm volume, symptoms, and quality of life (QOL) in women with breast cancer related lymphedema.

Design

A three-group, pilot, randomized clinical trial.

Setting

A private rehabilitation practice with two locations in the southwestern United States.

Sample

46 breast cancer survivors with treatment related lymphedema.

Methods

Patients were screened for eligibility and then randomized to either manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) for 40 minutes, LLLT for 20 minutes, or, 20 minutes of MLD followed by 20 minutes of LLLT. Compression bandaging was applied after each treatment. Data were collected pre-treatment, daily, weekly, and at the end of treatment.

Main Research Variables

Independent variables consisted of three types of APN administered lymphedema treatment. Outcome variables included limb volume, extracellular fluid, psychological and physical symptoms, and QOL.

Findings

No statistically significant between group differences were found in volume reduction; however, all groups had clinically and statistically significant reduction in volume. No group differences were noted in psychological and physical symptoms, or QOL; however, treatment related improvements were noted in symptom burden within all groups. Skin improvement was noted in each group that received LLLT.

Conclusions

LLLT with bandaging may offer a time saving therapeutic option to conventional MLD. Alternatively compression bandaging alone could account for the demonstrated volume reduction.

Implications for Nursing

APNs can effectively treat lymphedema. APNs in private healthcare practices can serve as valuable research collaborators.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3887507/

2018-02-03T21:32:41+00:00December 8th, 2015|Occupational Therapist|0 Comments

Leave A Comment

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons