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The Importance of Quality of Life for Patients Living With Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Mary Laudon Thomas
Nicole Crisp
Karen Campbell
CJON 2012, 16(3), 47-57 DOI: 10.1188/12.CJON.S1.47-57

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of myeloid stem cell clonal disorders characterized by a wide variation in illness trajectory and potential treatment. The physical, functional, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being of individuals with MDS can be affected by both disease and treatment-related factors. As a result, the quality of life (QOL) in patients with MDS may vary throughout the course of the illness. To date, most research exploring QOL in patients with MDS has been conducted as part of clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of a therapeutic intervention. Although data from those studies are useful, they do not fully address the issues critical to maintaining or maximizing QOL. Oncology nurses are in a key position to assist patients with MDS to maintain their QOL. Findings from comprehensive QOL assessments will guide nurses in providing relevant interventions and evaluating their outcomes. In this manner, oncology nurses can assist their patients to maximize QOL while living with this challenging illness.

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