Fatigue and sleep quality improvement through complete decongestive therapy in postmastectomy lymphedema: An investigative analysis

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Kavak S. K., Kavak E. E.

SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER, vol.32, no.6, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00520-024-08590-4
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Ankara University Affiliated: Yes


Objective To evaluate the effects of complete decongestive therapy (CDT) on cancer-related fatigue, sleep quality, and lymphedema-specific quality of life using validated and reliable questionnaires in cancer patients being commendable. Material and methods This prospective study includes 94 patients who had postmastectomy lymphedema syndrome. The demographic characteristics of the patients were recorded. The participants' stages of lymphedema (The International Society of Lymphology), Hirai Cancer Fatigue Scale (HCFS) score, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) Global score, lymphedema-specific quality of life questionnaire (LYMQOL-ARM) score, and Global health status were recorded before and after CDT. Results The mean age of the patients was 58.49 +/- 10.96 years. Strong correlations were found between the severity of edema and global health status. There was a significant positive relationship between the HCFS score, PSQI Global score, LYMQOL-ARM score, and CDT. After decongestive physiotherapy, the majority of the lymphedema stages were downstaging (p < 0.05), respectively. There was also a trend toward improvement in general well-being (p < 0.05). Conclusion Cancer-related fatigue and sleep disturbance can persist for years after surgery in women with breast cancer. This can negatively affect the patient physically, socially and cognitively. Our study, which is the first study to investigate the HCFS score in postmastectomy patients and the relationship between PSQI Global score and CDT. The findings identify the risk factors that affect these outcomes in women with lymphedema and can provide valuable insights for targeted interventions and improved patient care.