Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Rebecca Beck-Little

Abstract

Secondary lymphedema (SLE) is a serious problem for many of the 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. It is estimated that 28 - 38% of breast cancer survivors develop lymphedema. The five-year incidence ranges from 43% to 94% (Armer, 2010). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an education program on healthcare personnel's knowledge of the risk of and preventive measures for upper limb lymphedema in breast cancer patients. A sample of healthcare personnel (N = 32) included both trained healthcare personnel and ancillary staff who are employed in a single oncology center based at two hospitals. Fifteen healthcare personnel who attended an educational program on lymphedema detection and prevention and seventeen healthcare personnel who did not attend were randomly selected to participate in the study. Although there was little variation in the scores between the educated versus the uneducated group, the educated group did better. Among the groups, the highest score was found in the educated group (97%). The group that did not receive the education received a lower score (92%).

Levene's test for equality of variances was found to be violated for the present analysis, F(1,30) = 2.903, p = .099. Therefore, in order to test the efficacy of the lymphedema education, an independent samples t-test not assuming equality of variances was conducted and found to be not statistically significant, t (22.637) = 1.798, p = 0.085.

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