A Myeloma UK funded study has found that myeloma patients regard the impact of symptoms on activity, emotional status and support factors to be the most important issues relating to their quality of life (QOL), highlighting the need to improve existing QOL assessment tools where the emphasis is on symptom status. 

The study, led by Dr Thomas Osborne, Department of Palliative Care, King’s College, London, and published in BMC Cancer, explored the most important QOL issues from the patients’ perspective. Semi-structured qualitative interviews and focus groups were conducted with 51 myeloma patients recruited from both inpatient and outpatient settings. Several important themes emerged which patients felt were not always taken into account when assessing QOL. These included: activity and participation, emotional status, support factors, expectations, adaptation and coping, and spirituality. 

The authors concluded that existing QOL assessment tools do not currently capture the issues that are important to myeloma patients and further work is needed to develop or refine existing QOL tools to make them more suitable in clinical practice.

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