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A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of Living With Multiple Myeloma

Matthew R. LeBlanc
Thomas W. LeBlanc
Ashley Leak Bryant
Kathryn I. Pollak
Donald E. Bailey Jr.
Sophia K. Smith
ONF 2021, 48(2), 151-160 DOI: 10.1188/21.ONF.151-160

Purpose: To explore the ways in which multiple myeloma affects an individual’s life in the modern treatment era.

Participants & Setting: 15 individuals with multiple myeloma and 10 clinicians were recruited from two academic medical centers in the southeastern United States.

Methodologic Approach: Semistructured interviews were conducted with individuals with multiple myeloma and clinicians to explore the effect of a multiple myeloma diagnosis and treatment on individuals’ lives. Transcribed interviews were analyzed using conventional content analysis.

Findings: The following four themes emerged from the analysis: treatment without end, social impacts and isolation, ongoing financial pressure, and relationship impacts.

Implications for Nursing: The treatment journey for those with multiple myeloma can be lifelong and may require frequent visits to an oncologist and, potentially, many successive lines of therapy. Life effects are far-reaching and long-term. Nurses should be aware of the interprofessional resources to help meet these individuals’ needs. With thorough assessment, care planning, and education, nurses can play a key role in mitigating the negative effects of multiple myeloma and its treatment.

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