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, statistics have shown that there is a one in eight percent chance that a woman will develop breast cancer sometime throughout their life, and it is estimated that there will be 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women in the year 2021 (American Cancer Society, 2021). One in five of the women who survive breast cancer will develop lymphedema within the initial three years following their breast cancer treatment (American College of Surgeons, 2013; DiSipio et al., 2013). Lymphedema is a chronic and progressive condition that is defined by the abnormal swelling caused by the overaccumulation of lymphatic fluid that can develop in various areas of the body including upper and lower extremities, the mammary glands, and even the torso regions (Sleigh & Manna, 2021). Lymphatic fluid, which is also commonly known as lymph, is a thin, clear fluid that circulates throughout the body to remove wastes, bacteria, and other substances from tissues (Cleveland Clinic, 2020).