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Rachel A. Dratnol, MOT, OTR/L, CLT

Laura H. VanPuymbrouck, PhD, OTR/L


Background: Lower extremity lymphedema (LEL) is more prevalent than lymphedema in other body parts. Assessing lymphedema severity and impact on occupational functioning and quality of life (QOL) is essential to client-centered care in occupational therapy. The purpose of this study was to identify and compare the patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) available to assess QOL and/or level of functioning in individuals with LEL and studies using such assessments.

Method: A search of two online databases (PubMed and CINAHL) yielded 15 studies. A scoping review was completed.

Results: Numerous PROMs were identified in the development and/or validation studies or used in impact studies, with general QOL and functional assessments rather than disease-specific assessments used more frequently.

Conclusion: Further work is needed to use disease-specific QOL and functional evaluation tools in the assessment of lymphedema severity and impact. This scoping review identifies the available PROMs for assessing people with LEL and underlines why occupational therapists should be using them to assess their clients.


The authors declare that they have no competing financial, professional, or personal interest that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.