Lymphedema (LE) remains a major health problem affecting thousands of breast cancer survivors. Significantly lower quality of life is observed in survivors with LE than those without. LE following breast cancer treatment is characterized by an accumulation of lymph fluid in the interstitial spaces of the affected limb and areas, leading to a syndrome of abnormal swelling and multiple distressing symptoms. Survivors with fluid accumulation are at greater risk for repeated cellulitis, infections, and lymphangitis, which creates financial and economic burdens not only to survivors but also to the healthcare system. Preoperative assessment, educational and behavioral interventions are showing effectiveness to maintain limb volume, ameliorate LE symptoms and promote early detection. This project proposes to improve clinical practice by implementing and preliminarily evaluating an educational and behavioral intervention (The Optimal YOU) to enhance LE risk reduction among Chinese-speaking breast cancer survivors. The Optimal YOU intervention focuses on promoting lymph flow, preventing inflammation-infection, and maintaining optimal body mass index. Evaluation of the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of the intervention has been demonstrated in English-speaking breast cancer survivors. Yet in its current form, this very promising program is not available to non-English-speaking women.
The aims of the project are to: (1) translate and adapt The Optimal YOU intervention from English language into Chinese language;(2) Preliminarily evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of implementation of the intervention through focus group approach;and (3) preliminarily examine the intervention on the process of participation, attrition, satisfaction, cost, and intervention fidelity as well as the effectiveness by conducting a randomized controlled clinical trial and comparing the intervention outcomes at preoperative baseline, 4-8 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months follow-up. Special attention will be on the identification of cultural and linguistic factors that promote or impede the implementation of the intervention.

Public Health Relevance

Lymphedema (LE), a major adverse effect from breast cancer treatment, can cause long-term physical, psychological, social, and financial problems. This project proposes to minimize health disparities in LE risk reduction by implementing and preliminarily evaluating an educational and behavioral intervention to enhance LE risk reduction among Chinese-speaking breast cancer survivors.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Comprehensive Center (P60)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-RN (02))
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
New York University
New York
United States
Zip Code
Deng, Jie; Fu, Mei R; Armer, Jane M et al. (2015) Factors Associated with Reported Infection and Lymphedema Symptoms among Individuals with Extremity Lymphedema. Rehabil Nurs 40:310-9
Ursua, Rhodora A; Aguilar, David E; Wyatt, Laura C et al. (2014) A community health worker intervention to improve management of hypertension among Filipino Americans in New York and New Jersey: a pilot study. Ethn Dis 24:67-76
Ursua, Rhodora; Aguilar, David; Wyatt, Laura et al. (2014) Awareness, treatment and control of hypertension among Filipino immigrants. J Gen Intern Med 29:455-62
Pollack, Henry J; Kwon, Simona C; Wang, Su H et al. (2014) Chronic hepatitis B and liver cancer risks among Asian immigrants in New York City: Results from a large, community-based screening, evaluation, and treatment program. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 23:2229-39
Zhang, Pao San Lucy; Sim, Shao-Chee; Pong, Perry et al. (2014) Evaluation of a Health Professionals' Training Program to Conduct Research in New York City's Asian American Community. Am J Health Educ 15:97-104
Wyatt, Laura C; Trinh-Shevrin, Chau; Islam, Nadia S et al. (2014) Health-related quality of life and health behaviors in a population-based sample of older, foreign-born, Chinese American adults living in New York City. Health Educ Behav 41:98S-107S
Cole, Helen; Schoenthaler, Antoinette; Braithwaite, R Scott et al. (2014) Community-based settings and sampling strategies: implications for reducing racial health disparities among black men, New York City, 2010-2013. Prev Chronic Dis 11:E105
Islam, Nadia S; Zanowiak, Jennifer M; Wyatt, Laura C et al. (2014) Diabetes prevention in the New York City Sikh Asian Indian community: a pilot study. Int J Environ Res Public Health 11:5462-86
Fu, Mei R; Axelrod, Deborah; Guth, Amber A et al. (2014) Proactive approach to lymphedema risk reduction: a prospective study. Ann Surg Oncol 21:3481-9
Islam, Nadia; Riley, Lindsey; Wyatt, Laura et al. (2014) Protocol for the DREAM Project (Diabetes Research, Education, and Action for Minorities): a randomized trial of a community health worker intervention to improve diabetic management and control among Bangladeshi adults in NYC. BMC Public Health 14:177

Showing the most recent 10 out of 38 publications