Contextual factors aff ecting the education needs of lymphoedema health professionals regarding genital oedema

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The impact of the care context on education needs of health professionals who conservatively manage patients with genital oedema is unknown. This study aimed to explore the contextual factors surrounding the treatment of patients with genital oedema that affect the education needs of lymphoedema practitioners, and identify interventions that might support both practitioners and patients. Following scoping groups in Australia and the US, formal focus groups were held with lymphoedema practitioners in England, Wales and the US, as part of an international mixed-method project in 2019. Ethics review from Swansea Bay University Health Board Research and Development Department found ethics approval unnecessary. This project was funded by Tenovus Cancer Care. A total of 69 lymphoedema practitioners (21 from England, 20 from Wales and 28 from the US) self-identified a personal education need and a need in other health workers who should be identifying and referring patients to their services. Genital oedema was considered to be under recognised, of complex aetiology and psychosocially challenging. A need for specific assessment tools, outcome measures and a diagnostic algorithm was identified. In addition, improved availability of acceptable compression products was suggested to possibly help normalise discourse around genital oedema with patients and its management. The payer model in the US means an early intervention/ risk reduction approach is more difficult. Importantly, learning support resources need to be readily accessible. The focus groups provided contextual understanding regarding the genital oedema education needs of lymphoedema practitioners and the factors affecting patient treatment.

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Journal of Wound Care




Sup. 2

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This article was published in Journal of Wound Care, Volume 30, Sup. 2, pages 28-38.

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