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Lymphedema Patients and Their Limb Care; How Much Do They Know? How Compliant Are They?

The main objective of this study was to identify the level of knowledge and to asses the compliance and the factors that influence limb care in lymphedema patients in Sri Lanka. Currently only limited studies have been conducted regarding this important subject.

Materials and Methods:
The study was a descriptive cross sectional study. A cluster sampling method was used. 100 patients with lymphedema were selected from the Infectious Disease Hospital and from selected clinics in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Data was collected via Interviewer Administered Questionnaire. Data analysis was done using the SPSS program. Knowledge was graded as high and low according to the mean (=70) and Compliance was graded as high and low according to the mean (=70).

The knowledge in patients regarding lymphedema and its limb care was poor. Furthermore, on assessment of compliance majority of the patients had high compliance but lacked proper knowledge. There was a significant association between high compliance and having received previous instructions.

Health programs regarding lymphedema are much needed to reduce the stigma regarding lymphedema and to ascertain that if diagnosed early and treated adequately with proper limb care lymphedema is a reversible condition. Therefore, the healthcare professionals in all hospitals should focus on delivering high quality information about lymphedema and its management to individuals with lymphedema.

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Journal Article
Samarasinghe S
Fernando D
Munagama C
Perera C
Edirisinghe M
Wickremesinghe R
Prathapan S