Purpose: The objectives of this pilot study for women breast cancer survivors with lymphedema was 1) to evaluate recruitment rates, retention rates, adherence to Bowenwork (a noninvasive complementary therapy involving gentle muscle movements), home exercises, safety and comfort; 2) determine the effect of Bowenwork on quality of life (QOL), functional status, perceived pain, range of motion (ROM), arm/ankle circumference (to assess for localized and systemic changes).
Methods: Participants received 4 Bowenwork sessions with home exercises. Initial and post assessments included QOL, functional status, and pain. ROM, arm/ankle circumference and pain measures were recorded before each session.
Results: Twenty-one women enrolled in the study; 95% completion; adherence 100%; home exercises 95%; no adverse events. The intervention improved mental health (SF-36-MCS); breast cancer-related functional (FACT-B); increased ROM; reduced arm circumferences. P value set at <0.05.
Conclusions: The Bowenwork intervention was safe and acceptable for women breast cancer survivors with lymphedema.
Keywords: Breast neoplasms; Complementary; Lymphedema; Musculoskeletal manipulations.
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