A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of Living With Multiple Myeloma

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To explore the ways in which multiple myeloma affects an individual’s life in the modern treatment era.

Participants & setting: 15 individuals with multiple myeloma and 10 clinicians were recruited from two academic medical centers in the southeastern United States.

Methodologic approach: Semistructured interviews were conducted with individuals with multiple myeloma and clinicians to explore the effect of a multiple myeloma diagnosis and treatment on individuals’ lives. Transcribed interviews were analyzed using conventional content analysis.

Findings: The following four themes emerged from the analysis.

Implications for nursing: The treatment journey for those with multiple myeloma can be lifelong and may require frequent visits to an oncologist and, potentially, many successive lines of therapy. Life effects are far-reaching and long-term. Nurses should be aware of the interprofessional resources to help meet these individuals’ needs. With thorough assessment, care planning, and education, nurses can play a key role in mitigating the negative effects of multiple myeloma and its treatment.