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Making a case for funding for lymphoedema services

Catherine Bulley
11 February 2014

<p>Background: Lymphoedema is a chronic condition which has a significant impact on the lives of sufferers. Services for lymphoedema management are not standard throughout the UK. Recently a request for funding of lymphoedema services in Fife required the creation of a needs assessment.</p>n<p>Aims: The study aim was to establish whether or not lymphoedema presents a health-related need, addressing two main questions: do people with lymphoedema have a legitimate physical and/or psychological need for health care and do they benefit from the health care they are given?</p>n<p>Methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted to explore the views of five lymphoedema service providers and five service users. Thematic analysis was undertaken.</p>n<p>Results: Interview analysis indicated that the physical and psychological impact of lymphoedema has detrimental effects on daily function and participation in various aspects of life. Participants benefited from management, both physically and psychologically. Those with realistic expectations of management and who wished to take control of their symptoms expressed greater satisfaction with lymphoedema services.</p>n<p>Conclusions: Lymphoedema leads to physical, psychological and social problems that can be alleviated through specialist management, thereby representing a health-related need.</p>

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