Knowledge of lymphoedema among primary health care teams: a questionnaire survey.


Lymphoedema usually develops following surgery or radiotherapy for cancer, but can also occur in advanced malignant disease or be primary in origin. Lower limb lymphoedema may present particular difficulties in diagnosis, treatment and management. All types of lymphoedema can seriously impair quality of life for those affected. This study aimed to determine the level of knowledge among primary health care team members concerning the identification and management of patients at risk of developing lymphoedema, the current treatment options available for patients with established lymphoedema, and the awareness of local services available within the Cambridge Health District. A postal questionnaire survey obtained an 84.3% response rate. Many primary health care professionals were not aware of some important issues in the prevention and management of lymphoedema. This information proved useful in enabling the specialist service to develop appropriate educational initiatives.

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