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A Study Using Visual Art Methods to Explore the Perceptions and Barriers of Self-Management in Children and Adolescents with Lymphedema



Christine Moffatt

Professor of Health Psychology Education

Elodie Stasi

Sandrine Mestre

Sara Rowan

Susie Murray


Background: The aims of this study were to explore, using visual art methodology, how children and adolescents perceive their lymphedema and conceptualize the barriers and enablers in self-management and to explore the role of an educational camp in promoting self-efficacy.

Methods: Participants (speaking English, French, and Italian) were recruited during an educational camp for children with lymphedema. Children and adolescents used different methodologies to depict living and self-managing their condition. Younger children (aged 5–12 years) drew pictures, and all children and adolescents (aged 5–18 years) were given cameras and asked to take photographs that depicted their experience of learning self-management of their condition during the camp. Rose's critical visual methodology framework was used for analysis.

Results: Analysis of the data produced five categories: Normal versus altered childhood, living with lymphedema; perceptions of lymphedema and self-care in younger children; adolescents' perception of living and managing lymphedema; learning self-efficacy; and insights into cultural differences in self-care.

Conclusions: The study has shown that self-management is complex. Children and adolescents face many daily challenges and frustrations in managing their condition in addition to the normal challenges of development and growth that impact on: home life, time with friends, school activities, and relationships. Children expressed a deep longing for cure and a recognition that their lives were altered by having the condition that led to limitations in sport and wearing fashionable clothes and shoes. The importance of relationships with professionals was critical as was the experience of meeting and learning with other children through the camp experience. Attempts to simplify self-management techniques would appear to be a key priority as would a greater understanding of the self-beliefs young people have of their ability to influence and control their condition and its impact on their life.


Quéré, I., Moffatt, C., Aubeeluck, A., Stasi, E., Mestre, S., Rowan, S., & Murray, S. (2019). A Study Using Visual Art Methods to Explore the Perceptions and Barriers of Self-Management in Children and Adolescents with Lymphedema. Lymphatic Research and Biology, 17(2), 231-244.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 13, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 22, 2019
Publication Date Apr 22, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 8, 2019
Publicly Available Date May 2, 2019
Journal Lymphatic Research and Biology
Print ISSN 1539-6851
Electronic ISSN 1557-8585
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 2
Pages 231-244
Keywords Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
Public URL
Publisher URL


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