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Lymphoedema therapist practice, then and now: 2009–2018 international survey results

Alison B Anbari, Elizabeth Anderson, Jane Armer, Nathan Armer
15 August 2022

The American Lymphedema Framework Project (ALFP) collected online survey data from trained lymphoedema therapists in 2009 (nationally) and 2018 (internationally) to document characteristics of therapists’ practice, population served, settings and educational preparation. Comparative analysis of data between survey years was completed to explore changes in the field. Therapists’ mean age increased significantly, as did years of practice. Physical and occupational therapy continued to be the dominant educational preparation for therapists, with the number of massage therapists increasing over the years. The percentage completing the standard of 135 hours in lymphoedema educational training increased, as did the percentage of therapists specialising in lymphoedema care. Therapists self-reported an increase in private practice. This comparison highlights both developments and practice gaps in the field, helping stakeholders and therapists worldwide address growing needs in lymphoedema care.

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