Association of lower extremity lymphedema with pelvic floor functions, sleep quality, kinesiophobia, body image in patients with gynecological cancers

Abakay H., Dogan H., Atilabey Güç A., Talay Çalış H.

Women and Health, vol.63, no.1, pp.27-34, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 63 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/03630242.2022.2155900
  • Journal Name: Women and Health
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, Periodicals Index Online, AgeLine, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, Educational research abstracts (ERA), Gender Studies Database, PAIS International, Psycinfo, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Violence & Abuse Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.27-34
  • Keywords: Gynecologic cancer, kinesiophobia, lymphedema, pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Kayseri University Affiliated: No


The aim was to investigate the relationship between lower extremity lymphedema and pelvic floor functions, sleep quality, kinesiophobia, body image in patients with gynecological cancer the effect of lymphedema severity on pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD), sleep quality, fear of movement, and body image in patients with lower extremity lymphedema after gynecologic cancer. A total of 103 patients (52 patients with lymphedema and 51 patients without lymphedema) after gynecologic cancer surgery were included in March-June 2022. Bilateral circumferential measurements were taken with a tape measure at different levels to create groups. These measurements determined limb volumes by summing segment volumes derived from the truncated cone formula. For data collection, all patients were presented with the Gynecologic Cancer Lymphedema Questionnaire (GCLQ), the Global Pelvic Floor Bother Questionnaire (GPFBQ), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia (TSK) and the Body Image Scale (BIS) one time. The severity of lymphedema symptoms was quite high in patients with lymphedema (GCLQ Total: 13.6) (p <.05). Patients with lymphedema had higher GCLQ total scores, GPFBQ1 (stress urinary incontinence), GPFBQ4 (urge urinary incontinence), GPFBQ8 (fecal incontinence), kinesiophobia and, body image scores than patients without lymphedema (p <.05). The sleep quality levels of patients with lymphedema and patients without lymphedema were similar (p >.05). A significant negative correlation was found between GLCQ total score and body image (p <.05). There was a positive correlation between kinesiophobia and pelvic floor symptoms and a negative correlation between kinesiophobia and body image (p <.05). In this study, it was observed that in patients who developed lymphedema after gynecologic cancer surgery, pelvic floor symptoms and kinesiophobia increased and the severity of lymphedema negatively affected body image. Reducing lymphedema in these patients may improve pelvic floor health, mobility, and body image.