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The impact of COVID-19 on autologous stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma: A single-centre, qualitative evaluation study

Camilleri, Marquita; Bekris, Georgios; Sidhu, Govundeep; Buck, Caroline; Elsden, Esma; McCourt, Orla; Horder, Jackie; ... Fisher, Abigail; + view all (2022) The impact of COVID-19 on autologous stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma: A single-centre, qualitative evaluation study. Supportive Care in Cancer 10.1007/s00520-022-07173-5. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is standard of care in biologically fit, newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) patients, offering better therapeutic outcomes and improved quality of life (QoL). However, with the UK's 1st national lockdown on 23/03/2020, several guidelines recommended deferring ASCT due to risks of infection, with resource limitations forcing some units to suspend ASCT entirely. Such changes to patients' treatment plans inevitably altered their lived experience during these uncertain times with expected impact on QoL. We conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews to gain insight into MM patients' understanding of their disease, initial therapy and ASCT, and their response to therapy changes. A clinical snapshot of how COVID-19 affected the MM ASCT service in a single UK institution is also provided, including changes to chemotherapy treatment plans, timing, and prioritisation of ASCT. Framework analysis identified 6 overarching themes: (1) beliefs about ASCT, (2) perceptions of information provided about MM and ASCT, (3) high levels of fear and anxiety due to COVID-19, (4) feelings about ASCT disruption or delay due to COVID-19, (5) perceptions of care, and (6) importance of social support. Example subthemes were beliefs that ASCT would provide a long-remission/best chance of normality including freedom from chemotherapy and associated side-effects, disappointment, and devastation at COVID-related treatment delays (despite high anxiety about infection) and exceptionally high levels of trust in the transplant team. Such insights will help us adjust our service and counselling approaches to be more in tune with patients' priorities and expectations.

Type: Article
Title: The impact of COVID-19 on autologous stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma: A single-centre, qualitative evaluation study
Location: Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00520-022-07173-5
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-022-07173-5
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Autologous stem cell transplantation, COVID-19, Multiple myeloma
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10149900
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