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J. Pers. Med. 2015, 5(4), 341-353; doi:10.3390/jpm5040341

Measurement Issues in Anthropometric Measures of Limb Volume Change in Persons at Risk for and Living with Lymphedema: A Reliability Study

1
Physical Therapy Service, Maccabi Healthcare Services, Tel-Aviv 6812511, Israel
2
Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
3
Department of Computer Science, Informatics Institute, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
4
Health Division, Maccabi Healthcare Services, Tel-Aviv 6812511, Israel
5
Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel
6
Office of Medical Research, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65212, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen B. Liggett
Received: 30 July 2015 / Revised: 5 September 2015 / Accepted: 17 September 2015 / Published: 30 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long-term Cancer Survivorship)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [888 KB, uploaded 16 October 2015]   |  

Abstract

Understanding whether a true change has occurred during the process of care is of utmost importance in lymphedema management secondary to cancer treatments. Decisions about when to order a garment, start an exercise program, and begin or end therapy are based primarily on measurements of limb volume, based on circumferences taken by physiotherapists using a flexible tape. This study aimed to assess intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of measurements taken by physiotherapists of legs and arms with and without lymphedema and to evaluate whether there is a difference in reliability when measuring a healthy versus a lymphedematous limb. The intra-rater reliability of arm and leg measurements by trained physiotherapist is very high (scaled standard error of measurements (SEMs) for an arm and a leg volume were 0.82% and 0.64%, respectively) and a cut-point of 1% scaled SEM may be recommended as a threshold for acceptable reliability. Physiotherapists can rely on the same error when assessing lymphedematous or healthy limbs. For those who work in teams and share patients, practice is needed in synchronizing the measurements and regularly monitoring their inter-rater reliability. View Full-Text
Keywords: decision-making; lymphedema; lymphedema management; minimal clinical; detectable change; reliability; standard error of measurement; tape measurement decision-making; lymphedema; lymphedema management; minimal clinical; detectable change; reliability; standard error of measurement; tape measurement
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tidhar, D.; Armer, J.M.; Deutscher, D.; Shyu, C.-R.; Azuri, J.; Madsen, R. Measurement Issues in Anthropometric Measures of Limb Volume Change in Persons at Risk for and Living with Lymphedema: A Reliability Study. J. Pers. Med. 2015, 5, 341-353.

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