Unmet supportive care needs, psychological well-being and quality of life in patients living with multiple myeloma and their partners

Psychooncology. 2011 Jan;20(1):88-97. doi: 10.1002/pon.1710.


Purpose: The aim of this project was to identify the nature and range of needs, as well as levels of quality of life (QOL), of both patients living with myeloma and their partners.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was used, recruiting patients and their partners from 4 hospitals in the United Kingdom at a mean time post-diagnosis of 5 years. Patients completed a scale exploring their Supportive Care Needs, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the EORTC QOL scale with its Myeloma module. The partners completed the partners' version of the Supportive Care Needs scale and HADS.

Results: A total of 132 patients and 93 of their partners participated. One-quarter of the patients and one-third of the partners reported unmet supportive care needs. About 27.4% of patients reported signs of anxiety and 25.2% reported signs of depression. Almost half the partners (48.8%) reported signs of anxiety and 13.6% signs of depression. Anxious/depressed patients had more than double unmet needs than non-anxious/depressed patients (P<0.05). QOL was moderate, with key areas of impairment being physical, emotional, social and cognitive functioning, and patients complained of several symptoms, including tiredness (40.7%), pain (35.9%), insomnia (32.3%), peripheral neuropathies (28.3%) and memory problems (22.3%). About 40.8% were worried about their health in the future.

Conclusion: Long-term supportive care services should provide support to both patients and their partners in relation to their unmet needs, screening them for psychological disorders, referring them appropriately and timely, and optimising symptom management in order to improve the patients' QOL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / physiopathology
  • Multiple Myeloma / psychology*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders
  • Social Support*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom