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Introduction of the Lymphedema Action Plan (LeAP): Clinical Advancement in Proactive Lymphedema Care

This article provides a description of The Lymphedema Action Plan (LeAP) – a a simple, easily read, 1-page handout that was developed in action
plan format to help patients and caregivers manage lymphedema risk and treatment most effectively. The paper states “Knowledge is power. By teaching patients to address modifiable risk factors, we may be able to reduce the overall incidence of lymphedema by transitioning from a reactive
approach to a proactive approach.” The full paper requires a subscription.

“The LeAP was designed to empower those at risk for BCRL by educating patients and caregivers about (1) recognized risk factors and proactive behavior modification, (2)
early signs and symptoms of lymphedema, (3) actions that can be taken to control an exacerbation, and (4) when to seek a medical provider with the ultimate goal of reducing progression of the lymphedema process.”

What will I learn about?

Traffic light 1 page education tool.

Who is this for?

Lymphoedema practitioners.

Time to read

5 minutes to read the abstract.

Abstract

Title: Introduction of the Lymphedema Action Plan (LeAP): Clinical Advancement in Proactive Lymphedema Care.

Author: Beaman, Renata

Journal: Rehabilitation Oncology 07// 2019;37(3):122-127

DOI: 10.1097/01.REO.0000000000000145 · Ref ID: 144269879

Background: Breast cancer–related lymphedema (BCRL) is a disease secondary to the removal of, or damage to, lymph nodes that can increase emotional and physical burden, shoulder impairment, and functional disability in those affected by breast cancer. The multifactorial impact of lymphedema may also negatively affect quality of life. Purpose: Although research supports the role of early lymphedema education including the identification of lymphedema risk factors and early professional intervention, we do not yet have a risk management tool that directly links this information to self-directed treatment. The Lymphedema Action Plan (LeAP) was designed to fill this gap. Design: The LeAP is divided into 3 categories (green light, yellow light, and red light) that serve to link recognized risk reduction strategies and early signs and symptoms of lymphedema to established actions that can improve lymphedema outcomes. It was designed to empower those at risk for BCRL by educating patients and caregivers about (1) recognized risk factors and proactive behavior modification, (2) early signs and symptoms of lymphedema, (3) actions that can be taken to control an exacerbation, and (4) when to see a medical provider, with the ultimate goal of optimizing control of this incurable disease.

The LeAP is divided into 3 sections: green light, yellow light, and red light.

Lymphedema Action Plan (LeAP)

The figure above shows the Lymphedema Action Plan (LeAP) by Bearman (2019).