Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Sonia Zimmerman


Lymphedema; Self Care; Patient Education


The purpose of this scholarly project is to present a workbook that assists patients with lymphedema and their therapists to develop a home management program that can successfully be integrated into the patient's daily occupations. The workbook utilizes the principles of the Occupational Adaptation theoretical frame of reference to guide the patient through the steps of making an adaptive response to the occupational challenge of lymphedema management. A review of the literature describes the physical aspects, psychosocial aspects, and the lived experience of the person with lymphedema. The literature review also indicates that currently the preferred method of treatment for lymphedema is combined decongestive therapy (CDT). CDT teaches the patient the occupational readiness skills that are necessary for successful management of lymphedema, however does not address the integration of those skills into everyday occupations or development of skills for positive coping. In addition, insurance companies in the United States have also limited the amount of time and the type of treatment that can be provided to patients with lymphedema. The scholarly project presents a workbook that can be used concurrently with the manual lymphatic drainage portion of CDT to promote development of an individualized plan to manage lymphedema, integration of that plan into everyday occupations, and development of skills for positive coping.