The Development and Validation of the LIMPRINT Methodology.
The acronym Limprint stands for Lymphedema IMpact and PRevalence INTernational and was run under the auspices of the International Lymphedema Framework (ILF), a charity dedicated to improving provision of care globally. The primary aim was to identify the number of people with chronic edema (chronic edema present for >3 months and due to a range of underlying etiologies and associated risk factors) within diverse health services in nine participating countries and to determine its impact using validated methods. An international protocol and sampling framework, online data capture system, and standard operating procedures were adopted. An international consensus was used to create a core data tool that covered 13 domains. Specialist data on demographics and disability, details of swelling, wounds, cancer, and health-related quality of life were also available for sites. The study protocol was designed to allow flexibility in the types of studies undertaken within complex health care systems. All cases were confirmed using the modified pitting test. Sensitivity and specificity for this method were determined in Japanese and European populations. Following confirmation of a chronic edema case, Lymphologists defined whether it was a primary of a secondary form. The study was designed to provide robust evidence that chronic edema is an important and unrecognized public health problem in health services with significant morbidity. Without evidence of the size and complexity, it will remain considered a rare phenomenon and people affected will be denied access to appropriate treatment that would allow them to have fulfilled and productive lives