One third of patients with radiotherapy-induced nausea consider their antiemetic treatment insufficient
2009 (English)In: Supportive Care in Cancer, ISSN 0941-4355, E-ISSN 1433-7339, Vol. 17, no 1, 23-32 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objective: To describe the prevalence of nausea and vomiting during radiotherapy and to compare quality of life, psychological and functional status in patients experiencing or not experiencing nausea.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional selection of 368 cancer patients treated with radiotherapy answered a questionnaire (=93% answering rate) regarding nausea, vomiting, actual use of and interest in antiemetic treatment, quality of life and psychological and functional status during the preceding week of radiotherapy. Mean age was 60 years and 66% were women.
Main results: Nausea was experienced by 39% ( 145) and vomiting by 7% ( 28) of patients in general, by 63% in abdominal or pelvic fields and by 48% in head/neck/brain fields. Abdominal/pelvic field (Relative risk (RR) 2.0), age <= 40 years (RR 1.9) and previous nausea in other situations (RR 1.8) implied an increased risk for nausea. Antiemetics were used by 17% and 78% were interested in or wanted more information about acupuncture treatment against nausea. Of the 145 nauseous patients only 25% felt that antiemetics had helped them and 34% would have liked additional treatment, although the nausea intensity was mild in 72%. The nauseous patients reported lower well-being and quality of life, lower satisfaction with aspects of daily living and more frequent anxiety and depressed mood than the patients without nausea.
Conclusions: Of all patients undergoing radiotherapy, 39% experienced nausea and one third of them would have liked more treatment against the nausea. This study stresses the importance to identify and adequately treat patients with increased risk for nausea related to radiotherapy.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2009. Vol. 17, no 1, 23-32 p.
Antiemetics, Daily living, Risk factors, Vomiting, Quality of life
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16236DOI: 10.1007/s00520-008-0445-xISI: 000261577400004PubMedID: 18528717ScopusID: 2-s2.0-57949084679OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-16236DiVA: diva2:133492