Source: Myeloma – Hematology Advisor

Screening for social support and psycho-oncological care interventions may be beneficial for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) or its precursor diseases, such as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, according to research published in the Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology.

There has been an increased clinical focus on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in this patient population, and among patients with the precursor diseases to MM, which include monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and smoldering MM. HRQoL, moreover, has been linked with survival outcomes in multiple cancer settings, highlighting the need for improving it across patient populations.

Whether social support may have a positive or negative effect — depending on the form of interaction — on HRQoL was previously unestablished. For this survey-based study, researchers aimed to evaluate the effects of social support on HRQoL among patients with MM or its precursor diseases.

In the future, the influence of social support on the HRQoL of MM patients should also be investigated in longitudinal studies.

Overall, of 170 patients were approached for enrollment and survey data from 126 were included. In this cohort, the mean age was 64.1 years, 56.7% of patients were male sex, and 81% of patients were married or in a partnership. Most (77%) patients had MM. All patients were sent the EORTC QLQ-C30, EORTC QLQ-MY20, and Illness-specific Social Support Scale questionnaires for completion to assess the effects of social support on HRQoL.

Multiple linear regression analysis suggested that positive social support benefited both patient emotional function (beta, 0.323; P <.001) and social function (beta, 0.251; P =.007). Negative social interactions, however, appeared to damage social function (beta, –0.209; P =.027) and increase the risk of treatment side effects (beta, 0.266; P =.004).

“In the future, the influence of social support on the HRQoL of MM patients should also be investigated in longitudinal studies,” the authors wrote in their report. “This would provide important information over the course of the disease.”

Disclosures: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.

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