Review of National and International Consensuses on Chronic Lymphedema
Consensus documents are produced in an effort to help move a field forward and/or to offer to patients the best evidence/expert-based treatment approaches. The results can be positive, by promoting clearly beneficial options in the face of multiple choices, but they can also be harmful by limiting therapeutic options and stifling research for future advances. Some physicians, policy-makers, and patients desire documents with clear unalterable protocols, whereas an equal cohort exists that believe that these documents confine and distort the practice of medicine. An inherent problem that will not easily be resolved is that these types of guidelines are based on studies of populations of patients and generate protocols appropriate for a range of patients. However, each patient brings his or her own individual constellation of issues and findings, rendering it impossible for a consensus to address each item. Therefore, sound clinical judgment and modification will always be required.
KeywordsConsensus Document Compression Bandage Guideline Document Manual Lymph Drainage Sound Clinical Judgment
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