Characterizing Pain Experiences in African American Patients with Multiple Myeloma

A study published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing assessed the characterization of pain among African Americans with multiple myeloma (MM). “Despite known disparities by race, studies to date have not focused on pain characterization among African American patients with MM,” the researchers wrote.

In this study, the investigators sought to characterize the pain experience, beliefs about pain and pain control, and additional symptoms among Black patients with MM undergoing around-the-clock treatment for the disease.

Researchers used secondary analysis of baseline data from a completed longitudinal study of opioid adherence to evaluate 34 African American patients with MM. They then used descriptive statistics to characterize the sample, pain experience, beliefs regarding pain and pain control, and related symptoms.

According to the results of the study, Black patients with MM experienced everyday pain and additional symptoms, while half experienced depression. The patients reported management barriers included dislike of pills, fear of addiction, and bothersome side effects from pain and medication.

“Additional larger studies can incorporate multilevel factors contributing to high symptom burden,” the researchers concluded.