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Lymphoedema practice patterns: the current state of the industry

Elizabeth Campione, Julie H. Hunley, Katherine Jackson
2 September 2020

Lymphoedema practitioners were surveyed by the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA) in 2019 to provide a snapshot of contemporary practice patterns in the management of patients diagnosed with lymphoedema and related disorders. The State of the Industry Survey respondents (n=860) were physical (47%), occupational (31%), and massage (12%) therapists, physical therapist assistants (6%) and other healthcare professionals. The US Midwest (35.2%) and Northeast (22.1%) geographical regions represented over half of the respondents, while 12.4% were from the West, and the remaining 26.6% were distributed among the Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Canada. Most (87%) of the respondents were eligible for the LANA certification examination having earned 135 or more hours of specialty training. Lymphoedema severity was rated severe (21%), moderate (41%), and mild (38%). Treatment frequency in 45% of practitioners was three times per week and 34% reported a treatment duration of 4 weeks. Significant differences in regional practice patterns were found in the time practitioners reported spending in manual lymphatic drainage, multilayered compression bandaging, and intermittent pneumatic compression. These results will inform stakeholders about clinical practice patterns in lymphedema management.

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