Multiple myeloma: The patient’s perspective

Donnaleen Vlossak, Margaret I. Fitch


Multiple myeloma is an incurable malignancy that accounts for 1% of all new cancers, usually affecting older patients. It follows a variable and unpredictable course. Despite years of research, outcomes remain poor.

The purpose of this qualitative study was to gain an understanding of the impact of multiple myeloma on the patient and family. Based on 20 indepth telephone interviews, several themes were identified and analyzed.

The results were surprising in that every patient interviewed considered the suddenness of having to face his mortality the most difficult obstacle to overcome. While specialized physical care will always be very important, the time has come for nurses to listen more carefully to the psychosocial concerns of this group.

Full Text:



Barrick, M.C., & Mitchell, S.A. (2001). Multiple myeloma. The

American Journal of Nursing, 101(Suppl.), 6–12.

Corso, A., Klersy, C., Lazzarino, M., & Bernasconi, C. (1998).

Multiple myeloma in younger patients: The role of age as

prognostic factor. Annals of Hematology, 76(2), 67–72.

Fitch, M.I., (2005). Needs of patients living with advanced disease.

Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 15(4), 230–235.v

Imrie, K., Esmail, R., Meyer, R.M., Members of the Hematology

Disease Site Group of the Cancer Care Ontario Practice Guidelines

Initiative. (2002). The role of high-dose chemotherapy and stemcell

transplantation in patients with multiple myeloma: A practice

guideline of the Cancer Care Ontario Practice Guidelines

Initiative. Annals of Internal Medicine, 136(8), 619–629.

Kristjanson, L.J., & Ashcroft, T. (1994). The family’s cancer journey:

A literature review. Cancer Nursing, 17(1), 1–17.

Marcus Lewis, F. (2005). The impact of cancer on the family [Electronic

Version]. International Cancer Nursing News, 17(2), 4–5.

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). (2008).

Nizar J., Bahlis, M.D., & Stewart, D.A. (2006). Multiple myeloma: A

new era for an old disease. Oncology Exchange, 5(2), 7–13.

Poulos, A.R., Gertz, M.A., Pomkratz, V.S., & Post-White J. (2001).

Pain, mood disturbances, and quality of life in patients with

multiple myeloma. Oncology Nursing Forum, 28(7), 1163–71.

Rice, D., & Sheridan, C.A. (2001). Nursing care of patients with

multiple myeloma: A paradigm for the needs of special

populations. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 5(3),


Santos, F.R., Kozasa, E.H., Charffailleb, M.L., Colleoni, G.W., &

Leite, J.R. (2006). Psychosocial adaptation and quality of life

among Brazilian patients with different hematological

malignancies. Journal Psychosomatic Research, 60(5),


Silverman, D. (2000). Doing qualitative research: A practical

handbook. London: Sage.


  • There are currently no refbacks.