Factors associated with professional healthcare advice seeking in breast cancer–related lymphedema

Chia Yu Lin, Hsueh Erh Liu, Ming Huei Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study aimed to identify the cognitive factors associated with the professional healthcare advice (PHCA) seeking behavior in breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL). Methods: From January 2018 to December 2018, patients with BCRL were prospectively enrolled for a cross-sectional survey of lymphedema-related perceived risks, lymphedema quality of life (LYMQoL), knowledge scale of lymphedema, and PHCA behavior at first clinical visit, 3 and 6 months postbaseline. Results: A total of 180 patients including 100 (55.6%) patients underwent a vascularized lymph node transfer (VLNT) and 80 (44.4%) patients received compressive decongestive therapy (CDT) were enrolled. At 6 months of follow-up, mean episodes of cellulitis (from 2.2 to 0.2 times/year), mean circumferential difference (7.8 ± 3.9%), wearing compression garments (from 29% to 0 %) in the VLNT group were statistically reduced than those in the CDT group (p =.01, <.01, and <.01, respectively). The overall LYMQoL had statistical improvement in VLNT group (p <.01). The short symptom duration, greater education level, less episodes of cellulitis, and higher knowledge of lymphedema were associated with increased adherence to PHCA (p =.03,.03,.02, and.01, respectively). Conclusion: BCRL patients who sought PHCA had great control of lymphedema and improve their quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-74
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 01 01 2020

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© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • breast cancer–related lymphedema
  • professional healthcare advice


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