The psychological impact of post-operative arm morbidity following axillary surgery for breast cancer: A critical review

K. Poole, L. J. Fallowfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper we review the published research that has investigated the psychological impact of arm morbidity associated with axillary dissection for early breast cancer. This critique is particularly timely given the drive towards minimally invasive techniques, such as sentinel node biopsy, which aim to reduce the incidence and severity of post-operative arm problems. Reported symptoms are multifactorial and include numbness, pain, swelling, weakness/stiffness, and restricted shoulder mobility of the affected arm. Conclusions from the few studies that have investigated the severity, incidence, duration and psychological impact of such disability are often limited by methodological problems. We identify these limitations and examine assessment tools used to determine the psychological impact of lymphoedema. The paper highlights the need for methodological rigor in study design, and the careful selection of appropriate, sensitive, reliable and clinically meaningful outcome measures to evaluate the impact of post-operative arm morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalBreast
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The psychological impact of post-operative arm morbidity following axillary surgery for breast cancer: A critical review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this