Lymphedema Beyond Patients With Breast Cancer
One recent systematic review highlighted several areas in the delivery and cost of lymphedema treatment that might benefit from changes in health policy. Stout et al identified 8 articles about health care delivery models and 6 articles about economic and cost analyses. They found that although evidence-based care for the diagnosis and treatment of lymphedema is limited, much of the burden to facilitate diagnosis and referral for effective care is placed on the patient. The authors also found that, compared with patients who do not have lymphedema, patients with lymphedema have significantly higher hospitalization rates, higher rates of medical services use, lower QOL, and significantly higher indirect costs. However, the study had a low level of evidence and yielded only speculative findings.