Self-Reported Quality of Life and Symptom Burden in Ambulatory Patients With Multiple Myeloma on Disease-Modifying Treatment

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Abstract

Background:

Knowledge of health-related quality of life (QoL) of patients with multiple myeloma on disease-modifying treatments is limited.

Aim:

(1) Determine symptom prevalence in patients with multiple myeloma on disease-modifying treatment. Identify the range and nature of these symptoms within the dimensions of physical, psychological, social, and financial well-being. (2) Measure self-reported QoL. (3) Compare the above-mentioned parameters to the general population and patients with advanced cancer.

Method:

Adults with multiple myeloma on disease-modifying treatment, attending the hematology day unit in a tertiary referral center from November 2012 to January 2013, were eligible for inclusion in a cross-sectional quantitative survey. Consenting patients completed 2 validated questionnaires, the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) supplemented by the myeloma-specific module (EORTC QLQ-MY20) and the Hospital Anxiety Depression Score (HADS).

Results:

Forty-one patients were included for analysis: 59% were male and 41% were female. Mean age was 63.7 years (range 46-86, standard deviation 11.24). The QoL scores were significantly lower than the general population and comparable to those with advanced cancer. The most commonly reported physical symptoms were pain (66%), fatigue (63%), and dyspnea (51%). About 54% of the patients were burdened by financial worries. Anxiety (30%) and depression (37%) were prevalent.

Conclusion:

Patients with myeloma on disease-modifying treatment have a lower QoL than the general population and are symptomatic across physical, psychological, financial, and social domains. A holistic approach to patient care is warranted, and patients may benefit from specialist palliative care input.

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