Anxiety and depression significantly affected health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). These findings were published in BMC Cancer.

As the global population ages, cases of MM have been increasing. Patients with MM often report more symptoms than other hematologic malignancies, underlining the importance of monitoring HRQOL.

In this study, 70 patients with MM were recruited between 2013 and 2015 at the University Hospital Wuerzburg in Germany and were evaluated through their treatment for HRQOL, anxiety, and depression.


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The patients were receiving first- (51.4%) or higher- (48.6%) line therapies. Among the first- and higher-lines groups, 8.6% and 25.7% were not suitable for stem cell transplant or high-dose chemotherapy, respectively.

At the first interview, the average Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-4) score indicated low-grade risk for anxiety and depression compared with the general population. No significant differences in scores were observed on the basis of line of therapy or demographic or clinical features.

Stratified by line of treatment, significant group differences were observed for future perspective, side effects of treatment, emotional functioning, and fatigue and at 3 months after treatment in future perspective, constipation, and financial difficulties (all P ≤.049). In general, patients receiving first-line therapy had lower pain and better health status, improving more over time, compared with higher-line treatment.

Significant gender effects were observed for future perspective; body image; nausea/vomiting; appetite loss; and physical, role, and emotional functioning (all P ≤.045). Age effects were observed for fatigue and constipation (all P ≤.034).

Stratified by PHQ-4 score, those with fewer psychological symptoms had better HRQOL before treatment than those with anxiety and depression (all P ≤.021). This trend was especially true among the first-line therapy cohort.

These data indicated that symptoms of anxiety and depression, line of therapy, age, and gender significantly affected HRQOL among patients with MM.

Reference

Fischer J, Knop S, Danhof S, Einsele H, Keller D, Löffler C. The influence of baseline characteristics, treatment and depression on health‑related quality of life in patients with multiple myeloma: a prospective observational study. BMC Cancer. 2022;22(1):1032. doi:10.1186/s12885-022-10101-9