Living with relapsed myeloma: symptoms and self-care strategies
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Cormican, Orlaith; Dowling, Maura (2017). Living with relapsed myeloma: symptoms and self-care strategies. Journal of Clinical Nursing 27 (7), 1713-1721
Aims and Objectives: To explore which symptoms relapsed myeloma patients experience and what self-care strategies are used. Methods: This was a qualitative study utilising focus group interviews (n=4) with relapsed myeloma patients (n=15) and carers (n=9). The focus groups were analysed and guided by thematic analysis. Results: Three major themes with subthemes were identified following analysis of the interview data: difficult symptoms; &quot;self-care&quot; and &quot;feeling vulnerable.&quot; These findings indicate the challenges relapsed myeloma patients experience with ongoing symptoms and highlight the importance of continuity of care. Conclusions: Symptom management for myeloma patients remains complex due to the array of treatments given. These patients require holistic care and thorough regular assessments to help them cope with the adverse effects on their physical and psychological health. For patients with a long-term diagnosis of myeloma, self-management workshops and regular education sessions may be of benefit. Relevance to clinical practice: This study highlights the key role of healthcare professionals in going beyond assessment of symptoms to offering advice and support to assist relapsed myeloma patients in managing their symptoms.