Objective: Individuals with multiple myeloma (MM) often have reduced functional performance due to the cancer itself or as a direct side effect of cancer treatments. Physical therapy is a part of cancer rehabilitation; however, no guidelines are available to provide information and direction for physical therapists managing patients with MM. The goal of this guideline is to provide recommendations based on a systematic review and consensus process that physical therapists can use to manage patients with MM.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature published until August 2018 was performed in 8 databases with 2 independent reviewers assessing quality. Seventeen articles were identified as relevant, and a draft guideline was developed in the form of action statements. A total of 10 physical therapists with hematology experience and 10 patients with MM were recruited for consensus process. A priori threshold of 80% agreement was used to establish a consensus for each statement. The draft guidelines were reviewed externally by 4 methodologists using the AGREE II tool and a stakeholder representing OH (Cancer Care Ontario) Program in Evidence Based Care, McMaster University. The final guideline was reviewed and officially endorsed by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.
Results: A total of 30 action statements were developed that achieved consensus, indicating physical therapy recommendations based on physiological markers (ie, hemoglobin, platelet count), complete patient presentation, and the stage of medical treatment.
Conclusion: These clinical practice guidelines were developed to aid physical therapists in implementing evidence-based and best-practice care for patients with MM to optimize rehabilitation outcomes.
Impact: These guidelines fill an important knowledge gap and are the first to provide information specifically for physical therapist management of patients with MM.