UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Efficacy of night-time compression for breast cancer related lymphedema (LYNC): protocol for a multi-centre, randomized controlled efficacy trial McNeely, Margaret L.; Campbell, Kristin L.; Webster, Marc; Kuusk, Urve; Tracey, Karen; Mackey, John


Background: Lymphedema is a prevalent long-term effect of breast cancer treatment that is associated with reduced quality of life. More recent observational data suggest that the addition of night-time compression to day-time use of a compression garment results in better long-term control of arm lymphedema. The primary objectives of the randomized controlled phase of the trial are to determine the efficacy of night-time compression on arm lymphedema volume maintenance and quality of life in breast cancer survivors who have completed intensive reduction treatment for their lymphedema. Methods/Design: The study will be a parallel 3-arm, multi-centre randomized fast-track trial. A total of 120 women with breast cancer related lymphedema will be recruited from 3 centres in Canada and randomized to group 1: Day-time compression garment alone or Group 2: Day-time compression garment + night-time compression bandaging or Group 3: Day-time compression garment + use of a night-time compression system garment. The duration of the primary intervention period will be 12 weeks. The follow-up period after the intervention (weeks 13 to 24) will follow a longitudinal observational design. The primary outcome variables: differences from baseline to week 12 in arm volume and quality of life (Lymphoedema Functioning, Disability and Health Questionnaire: Lymph-ICF). Secondary outcomes include bioimpedance analysis, sleep disturbance and self-efficacy. All measurements are standardized and will be performed prior to randomization, and at weeks 6, 12, 18 and 24. Discussion: The use of night-time compression as a self-management strategy for chronic breast cancer related lymphedema is seen as an innovative approach to improve long-term control over the condition. This trial aims to advance the knowledge on self-management strategies for lymphedema. Trial registration: This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov on July 9th, 2014 ( NCT02187289 )

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