Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: exploring patients’ subjective experience
Authors Salihah Zakaria N, Mazlan N, Lua PL
Received 6 October 2015
Accepted for publication 29 January 2016
Published 4 April 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 145—151
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser
Noor Salihah,1 Nik Mazlan,2 Pei Lin Lua3
1Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Kampus Gong Badak, Terengganu, 2Kulliyyah of Allied Health Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia, Pahang, 3Community Health Research Cluster, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Terengganu, Malaysia
Background: This study aimed to explore the subjective experience of nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy treatment among breast cancer patients and the impacts on their daily lives.
Methods: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted in breast cancer patients who received chemotherapy and had experienced nausea and/or vomiting. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analyzed using content analysis based on Giorgi’s method.
Results: Of 15 patients who participated, 13 were included in the final analysis (median age =46 years, interquartile range [IQR] =6.0; all were Malays). Vomiting was readily expressed as the “act of throwing up”, but nausea was a symptom that was difficult to describe. Further exploration found great individual variation in patterns, intensity, and impact of these chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) symptoms. While not all patients expressed CINV as bothersome, most patients described the symptom as quite distressing. CINV was reported to affect many aspects of patients’ lives particularly eating, physical, emotional, and social functioning, but the degree of impacts was unique to each patient. One of the important themes that emerged was the increase in worship practices and “faith in God” among Malay Muslim patients when dealing with these adverse effects.
Conclusion: CINV continues to be a problem that adversely affects the daily lives of patients, hence requiring better understandings from the health care professionals on patients’ needs and concerns when experiencing this symptom.
Keywords: antineoplastic agents, breast neoplasms, nausea, vomiting
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