Assessment of breast cancer-related arm lymphedema

comparison of physical measurement methods and self-report

S. A. Czerniec, L. C. Ward, K. M. Refshauge, J. Beith, M. J. Lee, S. York, S. L. Kilbreath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

138 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To determine the relationship between physical methods of measuring lymphedema and self-reported swelling, their reliability, and standard error of measurement. Method: Lymphedema in each arm of women with (n = 33) and without (n = 18) unilateral arm lymphedema, secondary to breast cancer was measured by self-report, bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS), perometer, and the truncated cone method. Results: The physical measurement tools were highly reliable (ICC (2,1): 0.94 to 1.00) with high concordance (rc: 0.89 to 0.99). Self-report correlated moderately with physical measurements (r = 0.65 to 0.71) and was moderately reliable (ICC(2,1): 0.70). Conclusions: Lymphedema assessment methods are concordant and reliable but not interchangeable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-62
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Investigation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioimpedance spectroscopy
  • Limb circumference
  • Perometer
  • Reliability

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