Changes in Health-Related Quality of Life During Multiple Myeloma Treatment: A Qualitative Interview Study

Lise Sonsby

Josephine Rahbæk Dueholm

Dorthe B. Danbjørg

Niels Abildgaard

Lene Kongsgaard Nielsen

health-related quality of life, multiple myeloma, patient-reported outcomes, response shift
ONF 2023, 50(5), 635-645. DOI: 10.1188/23.ONF.635-645

Purpose: To explore whether patients with multiple myeloma changed their construct of health-related quality of life during treatment.

Participants & Setting: 14 participants were selected from 10 hematology-oncology departments in Denmark.

Methodologic Approach: This interview study used a prospective, longitudinal, exploratory design. Semistructured interviews were conducted while participants were undergoing active treatment for multiple myeloma and six months after the baseline interview. Interviews were analyzed using systematic text condensation.

Findings: The overall theme at baseline was insecurity, and the overall theme at six months was coping. The following subthemes were also identified based on participants’ description of their health-related quality of life: concerns about having a meaningful life, dealing with everyday limitations, and maintaining social networks; adjusting expectations to abilities; expanding social networks; and exploring a meaningful life.

Implications for Nursing: Patients’ ability to use coping strategies should be considered when screening for rehabilitation needs. During systematic in-depth symptom screening, unmet rehabilitation needs (e.g., physical functioning, fatigue, pain) may become apparent.

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