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COMPARISON OF COMPLETE DECONGESTIVE THERAPY AND KINESIOLOGY TAPING FOR UNILATERAL UPPER LIMB BREAST CANCER-RELATED LYMPHEDEMA: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

C. Basoglu, D. Sindel, M. Corum, A. Oral

Abstract


We designed a study to compare effects of
complete decongestive therapy (CDT) and
kinesiology taping (KT) (with exercise and skin
care) on limb circumference, lymphedema
volume, grip strength, functional status, and
quality of life in patients with unilateral breast
cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL). Forty
patients with unilateral stage 2 BCRL were
randomized to either the CDT group (n=20) or
the KT group (n=20). Patients in the CDT
group underwent 30-min manual lymphatic
drainage (MLD) and multi-layer, short-stretch
bandaging once a week for four weeks. Patients
in the KT group underwent taping once a week
for four weeks. In addition, all patients were
informed about skin care and given an exercise
program throughout the treatment. Upper
extremity circumference and volume differences
as primary outcomes and grip strength,
Quick-Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and
Hand (Q-DASH), and Functional Assessment
of Cancer Therapy-Breast (FACT-B) scores as
secondary outcomes were assessed initially,
after treatment (4 weeks), and at the 1st month
follow-up. Limb circumference and volume differences
were significantly reduced in the CDT
group after the 4-week treatment compared
with the KT group (p=0.012 and p=0.015,
respectively), but there was no difference between
the groups in the 1st month follow-up
(p>0.05). There was no difference between the
groups in terms of grip strength, Q-DASH, and
FACT-B scores after treatment and at the 1st
month follow-up (p>0.05). Our results show
that both KT and CDT were found to significantly
reduce limb volume and circumference
individually at 4-weeks and the one-month
follow-up in patients with BCRL and that
CDT significantly reduced both limb volume
and circumference compared to KT at the 4-
week time point, but not at the follow-up.
Further randomized controlled trials with
patients at different stages of BCRL are
needed to confirm and expand these results.


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