LIMPRINT Study: The Turkish Experience
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Background: Lymphedema and chronic edema is a major health care problem in both developed and nondeveloped countries The Lymphoedema Impact and Prevelance - International (LIMPRINT) study is an international health service-based study to determine the prevalence and functional impact in adult populations of member countries of the International Lymphoedema Framework (ILF). Methods and Results: A total of 1051 patients from eight centers in Turkey were recruited using the LIMPRINT study protocol. Data were collected using the core and module tools that assess the demographic and clinical properties as well as disability and quality of life (QoL). Most of the Turkish patients were recruited from specialist lymphedema services and were found to be women, housewives, and having secondary lymphedema because of cancer treatment. The duration of lymphedema was commonly <5 years and most of them had International Society of Lymphology (ISL) grade 2 lymphedema. Cellulitis, infection, and wounds were uncommon. The majority of patients did not get any treatment or advice before. Most of the patients had impaired QoL and decreased functionality, but psychological support was neglected. Although most had social health security access to lymphedema centers, nevertheless access seemed difficult because of distance and cost. Conclusion: The study has shown the current status and characteristics of lymphedema patients, treatment conditions, the unmet need for the diagnosis and treatment, as well as burden of the disease in both patients and families in Turkey. National health policies are needed for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in Turkey that utilize this informative data.