Multiple myeloma: The patient’s perspective

Donnaleen Vlossak, Margaret I. Fitch

Abstract


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.


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