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EVALUATING THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THE FULLERTON ADVANCED BALANCE SCALE IN PATIENTS WITH LYMPHEDEMA SECONDARY TO BREAST CANCER SURGERY

AK Yoosefinejad, M Hadadi, P Eslamloo

Abstract


Lymphedema following surgical treatment for breast cancer can impair balance and predispose patients to falling. Fullerton Advanced Balance (FAB) Scale is a reliable and valid tool which can identify persons with different balance levels, but its responsiveness has not been investigated in patients with lymphedema secondary to breast surgery. Thirty women with stage 2 lymphedema secondary to breast cancer treatment received complex decongestive therapy (CDT) for 2 weeks as a routine treatment method. They were evaluated with FAB Scale and Timed Up and Go Test (TUGT), volumetric measurements and circumferential measurements of the upper limbs before and after CDT. A moderate change was found in FAB score after CDT (Cohen’s effect size = 0.65). For FAB, the computed standard error of the mean was 0.85 and minimal detectable change was 2.33. Significant improvement in FAB score and TUGT results, and significant reductions in circumferential and volumetric measurements were seen after 2 weeks of CDT. The FAB score change showed a moderate correlation with circumference change and volumetric change (r = -0.41) but a very weak correlation with TUGT change (r = -0.1). The FAB Scale showed acceptable responsiveness in detecting treatment effects in patients with unilateral secondary lymphedema after breast cancer treatment.

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