domingo, 11 de noviembre de 2018

IS THERE PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS ASSOCIATED TO NONTREATMENT OR UNDERTREATMENT OF LYMPHOEDEMA Psychosocial impact and sequelae of untreated Lymphostatic Elephantiasis – Coping psychologically with lymphoedema – Paediatric and Primary Lymphoedema - Secondary Lymphoedema – Filariasis /Podoconiosis - Lymphatic Dysfunction – Rare Disease

Many people who suffer from chronic diseases that entails joint physical, organic and functional limitations like lymphedema, may experience some level of social isolation, depression, embarrassment, and despair. In many cases what else could be foreseen, if at the same time the condition is untreated or undertreated with ineffective solutions. 

Apart from the possible psychological implications of lymphedema due to disfigurement and disability (limitation of function), patients can't be expected not to have distress and emotional problems, when they are at the same time in the dramatic situation of seeing their health condition worsening. The logical procedure is to first solve problems of access to Good compression treatment, and then manage the psychological distress if it still exists.


Concerning lymphedema and psychology, how are people affected by lymphedem Stage III-elephantiasis, supposed to behave socially? Are they expected to have a happy and merry tranquil life living without treatment, and serenely accept their possible tragic future. How can people accept their condition when being untreated or undertreated with low-cost and ineffective programs, which don't work to reduce and restore the limb volume. What quality of life expectancy are people supposed to have, knowing the fatal outcome this disease might await them. 

Lymphedema is not in itself a psychopathology, nor does it predispose individuals to poor mental health. What lymphedema needs are good compression treatment and garments for the reduction and maintenance of edema, and what influences individuals with neglected and untreated diseases to be frustrated and depressed, is precisely being medically neglected and untreated. For information on what is the best treatment for lymphedema:


Psychological distress related to medical conditions is not something new, and no matter what illness or context, the impact of chronic diseases usually always affect peoples lives, but especially when there are difficulties to access good treatment options. Patients must first access to correct treatment for their illness, and then be treated psychologically if needed. 

Self-care support and activities are important for lymphedema, but patients also need at the same time access to Good compression therapy and garments, to control the progression of the disease.


If patients worldwide with lymphatic dysfunction, including lymphatic filariasis and podoconiosis, are left untreated or undertreated, it's like abandoning people to their fate, a future of progressive swelling towards final stage-III-elephantiasis, characterized by severe disfigurement, disability, and life-threatening complications. In this case, instead of a psychological problem affecting people, it is lack of access to good treatment options that provokes the stress factors, which could also be considered a big medical-social-ethical problem too.

References:

( Treatment and management directly and negatively affect persons with lymphedema)

Voices from the Shadows: Living with Lymphedema
Diagnosis and Treatment of Lymphedema Following Breast Cancer: A Population-based Study
Complete Decongestive Therapy Treatment for lymphedema and its relationship with Patients Psychological and Physical characteristics:
Lymphoedema management: an international intersect between developed and developing countries. Similarities, differences and challenges.
Old people with lymphedema
Interesting document "Podoconiosis stigma scale" that even though focused on Africa, it adapts perfectly to all Primary and Secondary lymphedema alike, to measure the psycholgical impact of having to live with lymphedema.


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