Characterizing Pain Experiences: African American Patients With Multiple Myeloma Taking Around-the-Clock Opioids

Sarah M. Belcher

Deborah Watkins Bruner

Craig C. Hofmeister

Jaime Kweon

Salimah H. Meghani

Katherine A. Yeager
multiple myeloma, cancer, pain, opioids, African American, supportive care
CJON 2020, 24(5), 538-546. DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.538-546

Background: Despite known disparities by race, studies to date have not focused on pain characterization among African American patients with multiple myeloma.

Objectives: This study aimed to characterize the pain experience, beliefs about pain and pain control, and additional symptoms among African American patients with multiple myeloma taking around-the-clock opioids.

Methods: This study employed secondary analysis of baseline data from a completed longitudinal study of opioid adherence. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the sample, pain experience, beliefs regarding pain and pain control, and related symptoms.

Findings: Participants (N = 34) experienced everyday pain and additional symptoms, and half experienced depression. Pain management barriers included dislike of pills, fear of addiction, and bothersome side effects from pain and medication. Additional larger studies can incorporate multilevel factors contributing to high symptom burden.

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