If patients with multiple myeloma are noncompliant with treatment, it can have “devastating consequences on the clinical prognosis,” said Dale Hanna of the Lash Group in Fort Mill, SC. His team presented its evaluation on the impact of a patient-centered program on IV therapy compliance among patients with multiple myeloma on Saturday, December 3, at the 58th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, CA. 

“Both environmental and psychological factors are often the cause of noncompliance and can be addressed through, psychosocial support, individualized condition and product education plans, and health coaching techniques,” the study authors said. “All are known to positively influence patient behavior.” 

For this analysis, the Lash Group looked at patients with multiple myeloma in two groups: patients who were or were not enrolled in the Lash Group’s patient-centered support program, which uses telehealth RNs who are oncology certified as OCNs® through the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation. The program focuses on the emotional and educational support needed to address compliance barriers. 

Specifically, the program provides individualized support while patients are receiving therapy. The OCN® telehealth nurses use a number of techniques to achieve an understanding, empathic forum for patients, including segmentation, motivational interviewing, and education. Follow-up calls are also used in tandem with treatment cycles and personal psychosocial needs. 

Study authors used electronic medical record data from the International Oncology Network to select 476 participants with a diagnosis of multiple myeloma who were given IV therapy between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2015. During a 12-month follow-up period, researchers captured compliance measures such as length of therapy, number of infusions, and time between administration. The measures were compared across study groups using standardized differences. 

In total, 27% of the study participants were enrolled in the Lash Group’s patient-centered program. Most of the patients were male (56.3%) with a mean age of 70.5 years. The two groups had several differences. Those enrolled in the program tended to be younger on average (68.8 versus 71.1) than those not enrolled, and more were male (59.7% versus 55.0%). Additionally, patients enrolled in the patient-centered program had higher number of IV infusions on average, with 27.6 instead of 22.9, and longer mean length of therapy (154.1 days versus 144.9 days). What’s more, at five days, the average time between administrations was shorter for patient-centric program participants than the other cohort at six days. 

“Using a patient-centered approach to supporting enrolled patients receiving IV therapy for multiple myeloma resulted in better compliance outcomes as quantified by a higher number of IV infusions and a longer mean length of therapy,” Hanna said. “Quantifying the impact of a patient-centered program on patients’ compliance with treatment may aid stakeholders while optimizing their treatment of multiple myeloma.”