Therapeutic education program for patients with lymphedema

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Therapeutic education program for patients with lymphedema

Postby patoco » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:27 am

Designing a therapeutic education program for patients with lymphedema: Live with lymphedema.

Dec. 2011

[Article in French]

Blaise S, Villemur B, Richaud C, Rastel D, Bucci B, Evra V, Bouchet JY; les membres du réseau GRANTED, Satger B.


Department of Vascular Medicine, clinique de médecine vasculaire, Grenoble University Hospital, BP 217, 38043 Grenoble cedex 09, France; Réseau GRANTED, 38400 Saint-Martin-d'Hères, France.


Lymphedema is a chronic condition considered to be rare in its primary form and potentially frequent in women after breast surgery for cancer: 27,000new cases annually. Therapeutic management is a serious challenge. In France, the health authorities (Haute Autorité de santé [HAS]) have recently proposed that appropriate management practices for lymphedema include "patient education". The HAS and the National institute for health care prevention and education also published a methodology guide devoted to structuring a therapeutic education program for patients with chronic disease. Current hospital regulations state that this education program is part of the care to be delivered to patients with chronic disease and that it must comply with the national directives. The purpose of our present work was to present the concept and the contents of a patient education program entitled "Live with lymphedema" designed for patients with lymphedema and developed within the inpatient-outpatient network GRANTED in Sud-Isère.

A standard detailed educative approach was applied. It was designed after the educational program for patients with lower limb arterial occlusive disease authorized by the Rhône-Alpes regional health agency. It was adapted to the specific problematic of patients with lymphedema, including medical management, rehabilitation, dermatology and nutritional aspects. It was developed in cooperation with patients and favors local associative actions.

The specifically structured program included three therapeutic education consultations and five workshops. Less than one year after its institution, more than 30 patients have participated in the program.

We report a structured patient education program designed for patients with lymphedema. This program was authorized by the Rhône-Alpes regional health agency in March 2011and is in compliance with the national directives and HAS guidelines.
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