Author: Leung, Ka Po Andrea
Title: A prospective randomized clinical trial to investigate the effect of mechanical stimulation on mastectomy scars
Advisors: Pang, Marco (RS)
Degree: DHSc
Year: 2019
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Scars -- Treatment
Mastectomy -- Patients -- Rehabilitation
Department: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Pages: xiii, 123 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Background: Mechanical stimulation (MS) is a non-invasive mechanical massage technique introduced to treat surgical scars. This study aimed to investigate its efficacy in alleviating scar appearance (pigmentation, vascularity, pliability, and thickness), improving arm function (reduction in pain, improvement in range of motion, strength and functional ability), and enhancing quality of life, in women with breast cancer following mastectomy. Methods: An assessor-blinded, randomized controlled trial was conducted at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. 108 mastectomized women were recruited and randomly allocated into either the experimental group or control group. Both groups received twelve sessions of conventional physiotherapy, within a 6 weeks period. For the experimental group, subjects received an additional ten-minute MS for scar management. Outcomes included scar evaluations by the Vancouver Scar Scale (VSS) and spectrophotometry; pain assessment by Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS); shoulder ranges by goniometry; handgrip strength by handheld dynamometer; arm function (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand Questionnaire; DASH) and quality of life (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy - Breast Cancer; FACT-B) at 6 weeks post-mastectomy (baseline assessment), 3 months and 6 months post-mastectomy follow-ups. Results: A total of 93 subjects completed the trial and 15 had dropped out. As reflected by vascularity and pliability scores of VSS, the treatment group had significantly more improvement in scar appearance than the control group at 3 months and 6 months post-mastectomy follow-up (p<0.017). Both groups showed significant improvement in pain reduction (p<0.001), active shoulder flexion and abduction (p<0.001), DASH score (p<0.05) and quality of life (p<0.001), with no significant between-group differences reported. Conclusion: Adding mechanical stimulation to conventional physiotherapy for women with breast cancer following mastectomy was safe, and conferred additional benefits on improving scar appearance.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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