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Knowledge base of wound, ostomy and incontinence nurses regarding lymphoedema: management and treatment in Brazil — results of a survey

Elaine Kawano Horibe, Lydia Masako Ferreira, Nayara Pereira Rios Gerez
2 September 2020

Background: Lymphoedema is a result of lymphatic drainage deficit and lymphatic system overload, which affects over 200 million people throughout the world. This condition can interfere with the individual’s life, with stigma and disability associated with economic, physical and psychosocial consequences. Despite its incidence and prevalence in our populations, healthcare providers still have limited knowledge of lymphoedema. Aim: To assess Brazilian wound, ostomy and incontinence (WOC) nurses’ knowledge of lymphoedema. Methods: A questionnaire was submitted to 250 WOC nurses in Brazil via an online survey application. The questionnaire consisted of quantitative and qualitative questions based on Wilson’s (2012) questionnaire. Results: The questionnaire was sent to 250 WOC nurses and 97 completed the survey. Results showed that 25% of the WOC nurses routinely treat lymphoedema patients. Among the WOC nurses who completed the survey, 86% would like to learn more about how to approach lymphoedema treatment, and 60% face difficulties engaging patients during treatment. Conclusion: Lymphoedema is a recurrent disease for the WOC nurses in Brazil who manage wound care; however, most of them are not familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of lymphoedema. This study identified the main doubts and challenges for WOC nurses during care for patients with lymphoedema, which instigates further studies and developments around education.

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