Perceived Symptom Experience in Head and Neck Cancer Patients with Lymphedema

Jie Deng, Sheila Ridner, Russell Rothman, Barbara Murphy, Kerry Sherman, Lee Moore, Kourtney Hall, Betsy Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Lymphedema frequently develops as a long-term effect from cancer and/or its treatment, including head and neck cancer (HNC). There is a substantial lack of understanding regarding the symptoms and experiences related to head and neck lymphedema. Objective: The objective of this study was to explore HNC patients' experiences of lymphedema, with emphasis on physical findings and associated symptom burden. Design: This was a qualitative, descriptive study. A purposive sample of 20 HNC patients who completed lymphedema therapy participated in semistructured, face-to-face interviews. Thematic content analysis was utilized to assess data. Results: Participants delineated the time when lymphedema onset presented and the sites of involvement. Most participants first noticed external or internal lymphedema/swelling within three months following either surgery or radiation therapy. Participants described a broad array of concurrent symptoms and functional deficits, including altered sensations, altered functions, neck-shoulder musculoskeletal/skin impairments, and psychosocial symptoms. Discussion: HNC patients experienced multiple physical and psychosocial symptoms during the time they experienced lymphedema. Conclusions: Clinicians need to inquire about tissue swelling and associated symptoms early in the post-treatment period to initiate lymphedema management strategies in a timely manner and facilitate reduction of long-term symptom burden and functional deficits.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1267-1274
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Volume19
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

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Lymphedema
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Neck
Radiotherapy
Therapeutics
Head
Interviews
Skin

Cite this

Deng, Jie ; Ridner, Sheila ; Rothman, Russell ; Murphy, Barbara ; Sherman, Kerry ; Moore, Lee ; Hall, Kourtney ; Weiner, Betsy. / Perceived Symptom Experience in Head and Neck Cancer Patients with Lymphedema. In: Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2016 ; Vol. 19, No. 12. pp. 1267-1274.
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title = "Perceived Symptom Experience in Head and Neck Cancer Patients with Lymphedema",
abstract = "Background: Lymphedema frequently develops as a long-term effect from cancer and/or its treatment, including head and neck cancer (HNC). There is a substantial lack of understanding regarding the symptoms and experiences related to head and neck lymphedema. Objective: The objective of this study was to explore HNC patients' experiences of lymphedema, with emphasis on physical findings and associated symptom burden. Design: This was a qualitative, descriptive study. A purposive sample of 20 HNC patients who completed lymphedema therapy participated in semistructured, face-to-face interviews. Thematic content analysis was utilized to assess data. Results: Participants delineated the time when lymphedema onset presented and the sites of involvement. Most participants first noticed external or internal lymphedema/swelling within three months following either surgery or radiation therapy. Participants described a broad array of concurrent symptoms and functional deficits, including altered sensations, altered functions, neck-shoulder musculoskeletal/skin impairments, and psychosocial symptoms. Discussion: HNC patients experienced multiple physical and psychosocial symptoms during the time they experienced lymphedema. Conclusions: Clinicians need to inquire about tissue swelling and associated symptoms early in the post-treatment period to initiate lymphedema management strategies in a timely manner and facilitate reduction of long-term symptom burden and functional deficits.",
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Deng, J, Ridner, S, Rothman, R, Murphy, B, Sherman, K, Moore, L, Hall, K & Weiner, B 2016, 'Perceived Symptom Experience in Head and Neck Cancer Patients with Lymphedema', Journal of Palliative Medicine, vol. 19, no. 12, pp. 1267-1274. https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2016.0174

Perceived Symptom Experience in Head and Neck Cancer Patients with Lymphedema. / Deng, Jie; Ridner, Sheila; Rothman, Russell; Murphy, Barbara; Sherman, Kerry; Moore, Lee; Hall, Kourtney; Weiner, Betsy.

In: Journal of Palliative Medicine, Vol. 19, No. 12, 01.12.2016, p. 1267-1274.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Perceived Symptom Experience in Head and Neck Cancer Patients with Lymphedema

AU - Deng, Jie

AU - Ridner, Sheila

AU - Rothman, Russell

AU - Murphy, Barbara

AU - Sherman, Kerry

AU - Moore, Lee

AU - Hall, Kourtney

AU - Weiner, Betsy

PY - 2016/12/1

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N2 - Background: Lymphedema frequently develops as a long-term effect from cancer and/or its treatment, including head and neck cancer (HNC). There is a substantial lack of understanding regarding the symptoms and experiences related to head and neck lymphedema. Objective: The objective of this study was to explore HNC patients' experiences of lymphedema, with emphasis on physical findings and associated symptom burden. Design: This was a qualitative, descriptive study. A purposive sample of 20 HNC patients who completed lymphedema therapy participated in semistructured, face-to-face interviews. Thematic content analysis was utilized to assess data. Results: Participants delineated the time when lymphedema onset presented and the sites of involvement. Most participants first noticed external or internal lymphedema/swelling within three months following either surgery or radiation therapy. Participants described a broad array of concurrent symptoms and functional deficits, including altered sensations, altered functions, neck-shoulder musculoskeletal/skin impairments, and psychosocial symptoms. Discussion: HNC patients experienced multiple physical and psychosocial symptoms during the time they experienced lymphedema. Conclusions: Clinicians need to inquire about tissue swelling and associated symptoms early in the post-treatment period to initiate lymphedema management strategies in a timely manner and facilitate reduction of long-term symptom burden and functional deficits.

AB - Background: Lymphedema frequently develops as a long-term effect from cancer and/or its treatment, including head and neck cancer (HNC). There is a substantial lack of understanding regarding the symptoms and experiences related to head and neck lymphedema. Objective: The objective of this study was to explore HNC patients' experiences of lymphedema, with emphasis on physical findings and associated symptom burden. Design: This was a qualitative, descriptive study. A purposive sample of 20 HNC patients who completed lymphedema therapy participated in semistructured, face-to-face interviews. Thematic content analysis was utilized to assess data. Results: Participants delineated the time when lymphedema onset presented and the sites of involvement. Most participants first noticed external or internal lymphedema/swelling within three months following either surgery or radiation therapy. Participants described a broad array of concurrent symptoms and functional deficits, including altered sensations, altered functions, neck-shoulder musculoskeletal/skin impairments, and psychosocial symptoms. Discussion: HNC patients experienced multiple physical and psychosocial symptoms during the time they experienced lymphedema. Conclusions: Clinicians need to inquire about tissue swelling and associated symptoms early in the post-treatment period to initiate lymphedema management strategies in a timely manner and facilitate reduction of long-term symptom burden and functional deficits.

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