Kinesiology taping for breast lymphoedema after breast cancer treatment: A feasibility randomised controlled trial

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PURPOSE: The primary aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of conducting a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of kinesiology tape (KT) and usual care versus usual care alone in the treatment of breast lymphoedema (BLE). METHODS: Fourteen participants with BLE were randomly assigned to either the KT and usual care group or usual care alone group. Both groups received three sessions of manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) once per week for three weeks, with the KT group additionally wearing the KT for two seven-day periods in between MLD sessions. Safety and acceptability of the KT were assessed by recording adverse events, skin changes and compliance with KT. Outcomes included were: Ease of recruitment, attrition and acceptability of KT, percentage breast tissue water, patient-reported breast heaviness/fullness, breast discomfort and breast redness. RESULTS: Recruitment for this study was an average of 2.8 participants per month. There were no dropouts from either group. No adverse events or major skin side effects were recorded in either group. Minor skin redness was the most common dermal change (n = 5). Compliance with KT was excellent. Percentage tissue water in the worst affected breast quadrant reduced, on average, by 15.14% and 10.43% in both the KT group and the usual care group respectively. CONCLUSION: This feasibility RCT into the use of KT in BLE has shown that recruitment to a larger scale RCT is feasible. It has been demonstrated that KT is a safe and acceptable intervention with no adverse events and minor dermal changes. A large, multi-centred RCT is now necessary to accurately assess the effect of KT in BLE.




Collins, S., Bradley, N., Fitzgibbon, S., & McVeigh, J. G. (2018). Kinesiology taping for breast lymphoedema after breast cancer treatment: A feasibility randomised controlled trial. Physiotherapy Practice and Research, 39(2), 107–116.

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