Open Access Research

Validation of the M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory multiple myeloma module

Desiree Jones1*, Elisabeth G Vichaya1, Xin Shelley Wang1, Loretta A Williams1, Nina D Shah2, Sheeba K Thomas3, Valen E Johnson45, Richard E Champlin2, Charles S Cleeland1 and Tito R Mendoza1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Symptom Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 1450, 77030, Houston, TX, USA

2 Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 423, 77030, Houston, TX, USA

3 Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 429, 77030, Houston, TX, USA

4 Department of Biostatistics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 1411, 77030, Houston, TX, USA

5 Current address: Department of Statistics, Texas A&M University, 525K Blocker, 3143 TAMU, College Station, 77843-3143, Houston, TX, USA

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Journal of Hematology & Oncology 2013, 6:13  doi:10.1186/1756-8722-6-13

Published: 5 February 2013

Abstract

Background

The symptom burden associated with multiple myeloma (MM) is often severe. Presently, no instrument comprehensively assesses disease-related and treatment-related symptoms in patients with MM. We sought to validate a module of the M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI) developed specifically for patients with MM (MDASI-MM).

Methods

The MDASI-MM was developed with clinician input, cognitive debriefing, and literature review, and administered to 132 patients undergoing induction chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation. We demonstrated the MDASI-MM’s reliability (Cronbach α values); criterion validity (item and subscale correlations between the MDASI-MM and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and the EORTC MM module (QLQ-MY20)), and construct validity (differences between groups by performance status). Ratings from transplant patients were examined to demonstrate the MDASI-MM’s sensitivity in detecting the acute worsening of symptoms post-transplantation.

Results

The MDASI-MM demonstrated excellent correlations with subscales of the 2 EORTC instruments, strong ability to distinguish clinically different patient groups, high sensitivity in detecting change in patients’ performance status, and high reliability. Cognitive debriefing confirmed that the MDASI-MM encompasses the breadth of symptoms relevant to patients with MM.

Conclusion

The MDASI-MM is a valid, reliable, comprehensive-yet-concise tool that is recommended as a uniform symptom assessment instrument for patients with MM.

Keywords:
Symptoms; Assessment; Validation; Multiple myeloma; MDASI