Background: Cellulitis is frequently encountered in patients with lymphedema despite existing prevention protocols. To resolve this issue, social aspects surrounding patients, such as communication with patients and professionals, are necessary to consider new approaches. This study aimed to clarify the association between the history of cellulitis in patients with lymphedema and access to specialists after adjustment for relevant confounding factors. Methods and Results: This study was a secondary analysis of the Lymphoedema IMpact and PRevalence - INTernational (LIMPRINT) study using a national Japanese database of adult lymphedema compiled between 2014 and 2015 (n = 113). Descriptive data were collected for patient characteristics. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to explore possible risk factors for patients having experienced cellulitis. The duration of edema ranged from <6 months (16.2%) to 10 years or longer (25.2%), with varying severity. History of cellulitis was observed in 31.9% of patients. The prevalent treatment techniques within the context of complex decongestive therapy included skin care advice (52.2%), compression garments (55.8%), exercise advice (41.6%), multilayer bandages (38.1%), cellulitis advice (49.6%), and massage (61.1%). Overall, 57.1% of patients had access to lymphedema specialists. Longer duration of lymphedema (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 4.10, p = 0.005) and access to lymphedema specialists (AOR = 0.28, p = 0.009) were significantly associated with a history of cellulitis. Conclusions: A history of cellulitis in patients with lymphedema is associated with limited access to specialists. To support self-care in this patient population, reasonable consideration systems, including telehealth, should be developed to facilitate communication between specialists and patients and decrease the occurrence of cellulitis in lymphedema.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine