Advances in treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) have improved survival rates over the past 2 decades. However, MM remains an incurable disease with low health-related quality of life for patients with the disease.

Prior research has shown that implementing early interventions tends to optimize long-term patient outcomes; therefore, this qualitative study sought to explore the factors that encourage initiation and continuation of MM treatment in a diverse group of patients. Their findings were published in Oncology Nursing Forum.

For this study, adult patients with MM from a single academic tertiary medical center in New York City were recruited, and 29 agreed to participate. Of those, 18 were female; 15 self-identified as White, 9 as Black, 3 as Hispanic, and 2 as Asian.

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The researchers conducted semistructured interviews focusing on the participants’ experiences living with MM, their treatment experiences, barriers to care, and their treatment decision-making process. The resulting data were analyzed with interpretive description.

The researchers identified three primary facilitators of treatment for MM:

  • Healthcare team trust and support
  • Personal resilience and initiative-taking
  • External support from family, friends, and formal organizations

“This study adds to the literature by identifying the importance of internal factors, specifically patient resilience and sense of control, in accepting MM treatment,” the researchers wrote. “In addition, it reaffirms the importance of trust in the patient-provider relationship and external factors including financial, social, and organizational support previously found to facilitate treatment completion.”

Previous research has suggested that patients may benefit when offered resilience-enhancing interventions, and the researchers suggested that implementing low-cost interventions at diagnosis may improve patient resilience thus promoting the facilitation of MM treatment.

“Actionable changes that may be implemented by nurses to promote these facilitators include encouraging the use of clear and everyday language by the healthcare team, increasing healthcare team accessibility, providing financial education resources at the onset and throughout MM treatment, and employing resilience-enhancing interventions throughout MM treatment,” the researchers suggested.

Disclosures: This research was partially funded by a Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG P30CA196521). Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Blejec S, Cytryn R, Yagnik R, Bickell NA, Lin JJ. Facilitators of multiple myeloma treatment: a qualitative study. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2023;50(3):372-380. doi:10.1188/23.ONF.372-380

This article originally appeared on Oncology Nurse Advisor