BACKGROUND: Despite strides in early detection and management of breast cancer, the primary treatments for this disease continue to result in physical impairments for some of the nearly 3 million people diagnosed annually. Over the past decade, evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) have been developed with goals of preventing and ameliorating these impairments. However, translation of these guidelines into clinical practice needs to be accelerated. METHODS: Relevant health science databases (2001- 2011) were searched to identify CPGs on breast cancer rehabilitation for the following impairments: upper extremity restrictions, lymphedema, pain, fatigue, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, treatment-related cardiotoxicity, bone health, and weight management. RESULTS: Recommendations from 19 relevant CPGs were first summarized by impairment within tables; commonalities across guidelines, within each impairment, were then synthesized within the article. The CPGs were rated using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II (AGREE II); wide variability was noted in rigor of development, clarity of presentation, and stakeholder involvement. The most rigorous and comprehensive of those rated was the adult cancer pain guideline from the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network. CONCLUSIONS: Based on a large body of evidence published in recent years, including randomized trials and systematic reviews, there is an urgent need for updating the guidelines on upper extremity musculoskeletal impairments and lymphedema. Furthermore, additional research is needed to provide an evidence base for developing rehabilitation guidelines on management of other impairments identified in the prospective surveillance model, eg, arthralgia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research