Foreword by Dr. Stewart

This book has changed my thinking about lymphedema care. Since 1998, when my colleagues and I founded the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA), my focus has been on improving the competency of lymphedema therapists who provide treatment proven to reduce disability and pain related to lymphedema.

In reviewing this book, I found myself forced to think beyond the demands of delivering excellent treatment. This book so clearly and simply states the obvious: failure of treatment these days is not due to a lack of competent therapists; but, more often, to a lack of supportive care in the home. So often, patients are unable to provide self-care for maintaining compression on the affected limb, which is the key aspect of lymphedema management.

This book clearly argues the need for competent caregivers and then sets about to bridge the gap that exists in lymphedema home care. Ms. Kearse has carefully researched her subject and gives concise and clear explanations as to why a caregiver shortage exists. She then provides ways in which concerned family and friends can pick up the burden of care, with excellent text, diagrams, and pictures. In an effort to better train family members to provide care for their loved one at home, our lymphedema treatment program will be using this book as part of our curriculum for patients and family.

Many unmet needs remain within the field of lymphedema, including insurance coverage for compression garments and aids; adequate medical school education and the availability of trained physicians; research into cause and treatment of lymphedema; and training dollars for therapists to receive an excellent education. This book so competently and completely addresses the need for caregivers within the field of lymphedema that at least one of the unmet needs has been addressed.

It is deeply pleasing to me that I have been asked to write a foreword for such an important book within the field of lymphedema.

Paula J. B. Stewart, MD, MS, CLT-LANA
Medical Director
HealthSouth Lakeshore Rehabilitation Hospital

Category: Book Information Updated: 2010-09-20