Date of Award


Document Type

Critically Appraised Topic


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Anne Haskins

Second Advisor

Breann Lamborn

Third Advisor

Gail Bass/Devon Olson Lambert


In the United States, one in five women who survive breast cancer will develop lymphedema (DiSipio, Rye, Newman, & Hayes, 2013). Lymphedema is the chronic, progressive swelling of tissue due to inadequate lymphatic function. Over time, protein-rich fluid accumulates in the tissue, causing skin and tissue to enlarge (Maclellan & Greene, 2014). This condition often leads to impaired performance of activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) due to this abnormal swelling. Activities of daily living are defined as “activities oriented toward taking care of one’s own body” (Rogers & Holm, 1994, p. S19). Instrumental activities of daily living are defined as “activities that support daily life within the home and community that often require more complex interactions than those used in ADL’s” (AOTA, 2014, p. S19).