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Patients self-reported nausea: Validation of the Numerical Rating Scale and of a daily summary of repeated Numerical Rating Scale scores
School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden; Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Ryhov County Hospital, Jönköping, Sweden.
Futurum, Academy for Health and Care, Region Jönköping County, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Anaesthetics, Operations and Specialty Surgery Center, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology. School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden; Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Ryhov County Hospital, Jönköping, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 28, no 5-6, p. 959-968Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim and objectives

To validate the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) for postoperative nausea assessments, and determine whether a central tendency, median, based on patients’ self‐rated nausea is a clinically applicable daily measure to describe patients’ nausea after major surgery.

Background

Postoperative nausea causes major discomfort, risks for complications and prolonged hospital stays. The NRS is recommended for the assessment of pain but is little explored for assessing nausea.

Design

A repeated measure design was carried out on patients who had undergone major surgery in three Swedish hospitals.

Methods

Nonparametric statistical methods were used to analyse (a) associations between the NRS and a verbal scale (no, mild, moderate and severe) and (b) to analyse associations between Measure 1 (nausea scores postoperative Day 1) and Measure 2 (retrospective nausea scores at rest and during activity, postoperative Day 2). Reporting of this research adheres to the Strobe Guidelines.

Results

The mean age of the 479 patients (44% women) in the sample was 65 years (range, 22–93 years). Self‐assessed nausea scores from the NRS and the verbal scale correlated well (rSpearman = 0.79). Correlation between nausea at rest and nausea during activity was rSpearman = 0.81. The calculated median scores (Measure 1) showed only moderate correlations with retrospective nausea scores (Measure 2); 4–9 ratings, rSpearman = 0.41; 6–9 ratings, rSpearman = 0.54.

Conclusions

Numeric Rating Scale scores showed strong associations with a verbal scale; therefore, the NRS seems to be a valid tool to measure nausea intensity. The quality of daily summarised median nausea scores needs to be further explored before clinical use.

Relevance to clinical practice

The use of the NRS in assessments of nausea in postoperative care will facilitate communication between patients and health care professionals regarding nausea intensity. When documenting nausea, it seems unnecessary to distinguish nausea at rest from nausea during activity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Inc., 2019. Vol. 28, no 5-6, p. 959-968
Keywords [en]
assessment; nausea; Numeric Rating Scale; postoperative; validation
National Category
Physiotherapy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-154658DOI: 10.1111/jocn.14705ISI: 000458362400024PubMedID: 30357970Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85056162192OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-154658DiVA, id: diva2:1293232
Note

Funding Agencies|County Council of Jonkoping; Research Council of Southeast Sweden (FORSS); Academy for Health Care

Available from: 2019-03-04 Created: 2019-03-04 Last updated: 2019-03-12Bibliographically approved

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