Preoperative education may improve shoulder range of motion (ROM) in women undergoing breast cancer surgery. These findings were published in Medicine.

Established chronic complications from breast cancer surgery include shoulder dysfunction and lymphedema. These complications can affect psychosocial adjustment, quality of life, and functional status.

This study sought to evaluate whether preoperative education may improve chronic complication risk. To that end, 62 women undergoing breast cancer surgery between May 2018 and February 2020 at the Gyeongsang National University College of Medicine and Gyeongsang National University Hospital in South Korea were recruited for this prospective, randomized, controlled trial. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 30-minute personal education and educational brochures (31 patients) or educational brochures alone (31 patients). The primary outcome was postoperative shoulder function.

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The experimental and control cohorts included women mean age 55.60 and 56.16 years, with BMIs of 25.05 and 24.29 kg/m2, and 21 and 24 underwent breast conserving surgery, respectively.

The intervention was associated with greater shoulder abduction (P =.042) and forward flexion (P =.039) 6 months after surgery compared with controls. No other group differences in shoulder ROM were observed at baseline or 1, 3, 6, or 12 months after surgery.

Among all patients, the short disability of arm shoulder and hand outcome measure (P =.015) improved at 3 months after surgery; internal rotation (P =.020), pain visual analog scale (P =.046), arm circumference 5 cm above elbow (P =.021), and arm circumference 5 cm below elbow (P =.013) improved at 6 months after surgery; and shoulder pain and disability index (P =.036) improved at 12 months after surgery.

The major limitation of this study was the small sample size which did not allow for subgroup analyses.

This study found that personalized preoperative education improved some aspects of shoulder ROM following breast cancer surgery.


Byun H, Jang Y, Kim JY, Kim JM, Lee CH. Effects of preoperative personal education on shoulder function and lymphedema in patients with breast cancer: a consort. Medicine. 2022;101(38):e30810. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000030810