Can ICF model for patients with breast-cancer-related lymphedema predict quality of life?
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Goal of work
The aim of the study was to investigate if the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) model with clinical data from patients with breast-cancer-related lymphedema can predict their health-related quality of life (HRQL).
Materials and methods
Sixty-one patients with breast-cancer-related lymphedema were recruited. Data were collected from records, including age, type(s) of surgery, number of dissected lymph nodes and history of radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, duration of lymphedema, and duration between surgery and enrollment. Excessive arm volume, average arm symptom, function of upper extremity (U/E), and HRQL were assessed four times during and after patients’ treatment of lymphedema.
The ICF model accounted for 20.5% to 55.6% variance in each domain of HRQL. Activity and participation reflected by U/E function were the most important factor, significantly predicting every domain of HRQL. Among measured impairments, average arm symptom was found to be most correlated with U/E function (r = 0.590, P < 0.05).
The ICF model consisting of clinical measures for patients with breast-cancer-related lymphedema can predict their HRQL. Activity and participation were the most important component. Arm symptoms rather than arm volume significantly correlated with U/E function. This might suggest that reducing arm symptoms is relatively more important while treating patients with breast-cancer-related lymphedema.
KeywordsBreast cancer Lymphedema Impairment Disability Quality of life
The authors thank the participants and the National Science Council of the Republic of China for financial support under grant nos. NSC93-2314-B-002-118 and NSC94-2314-B-002-074, which made this study possible.
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