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Evaluation of a new rehabilitation program for postoperative patients with breast cancer

Evaluation of a new rehabilitation program for postoperative patients with breast cancer

Nursing and Health Sciences 5(4): 275-282

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of a newly designed rehabilitation program for postoperative patients with breast cancer. This was achieved through examinations to clarify the range of motion (ROM) of the shoulder joint, postoperative pain and recovery of activities of daily living (ADL). The ROM of the shoulder joint was evaluated with respect to five items and determinations were carried out five times. Patients were orally questioned four times regarding their pain after surgery, movement-associated chest pain, pain at night and operative wound pain. Evaluation of the ADL after discharge was conducted using a three-level rating method at postoperative week 4 and week 12. A total of 72 patients were studied, comprising 39 who underwent pectoral muscle-conserving mastectomy and 33 who underwent breast-conserving surgery. The arm movement of forward raising showed the greatest decline, followed by lateral raising of the arm. Postoperative time-course changes in internal/external arm rotation, as well as backward arm raising were slight. Comparison of the operative procedures revealed differences only for lateral arm raising at postoperative week 4, while there were no differences in any of the shoulder joint movements. Lowering of the ROM of the shoulder joint was more marked at an earlier time (week 1 to week 2) after surgery, but it was not statistically significant. Pain at night and operative wound pain were prolonged over the period, and reported in postoperative week 1 to week 12 by 3-15% of patients. All ADL items became almost normal in approximately 90% of patients at postoperative week 4. The efficacy of the present rehabilitation program early after surgery was demonstrated in terms of recovery of ADL as well as the ROM of the arm on the affected side.

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Accession: 048993714

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PMID: 14622379

DOI: 10.1046/j.1442-2018.2003.00163.x

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