Symptom Burden, Perceived Control, and Quality of Life Among Patients Living With Multiple Myeloma.
BACKGROUND: New therapies for multiple myeloma (MM) have improved survival rates but often expose patients to heightened toxicities and prolonged treatment, leading to increasing complications and side effects. We evaluated the association between symptom burden, perceived control over illness, and quality of life (QoL) among a national sample of patients with MM. METHODS: For this observational, cross-sectional study, we used data from the Cancer Experience Registry research initiative to examine symptom- and functioning-related concerns among 289 patients with MM across the illness trajectory. We applied hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses to explore associations between symptom burden and perceived control over illness with QoL indicators: depression, anxiety, and social satisfaction. RESULTS: In our sample, 73% of participants with MM reported currently receiving treatment; 39% experienced relapse; 56% received 1 to 2 autologous transplants, 10% received ≥3 autologous transplants, and 4% received allogeneic and autologous transplants; 30% had not received a stem cell transplant. Average time since diagnosis was 4.4 years. The most highly endorsed concerns included eating and nutrition (61%), physical activity (59%), moving around (56%), fatigue (55%), pain (52%), and sleep (46%). Only 27% believed they had control over their disease, whereas 48% perceived having control over the physical side effects of MM. Approximately one-third of the variance in anxiety and depression and nearly two-thirds of variance in social satisfaction were explained by sociodemographic, clinical, and symptom burden variables. Perceived control over illness significantly predicted depression and anxiety, but not social satisfaction. Our results highlight substantial concern among patients with MM about physical symptoms and function. Additionally, greater symptom burden significantly accounted for poorer QoL, and lower perceived control over illness was linked to depression and anxiety. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with MM and survivors experience substantive long-term QoL issues. Together, these findings point to the critical need for comprehensive symptom management, integrated palliative care, and enhancement of social and emotional support for individuals with MM.
Zaleta, AK; Miller, MF; Olson, JS; Yuen, EYN; LeBlanc, TW; Cole, CE; McManus, S; Buzaglo, JS
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