Evidence-based Recommendations for Cancer Nausea and Vomiting

Published In: Journal of Clinical Oncology, v. 26, No 23, Aug. 10, 2008, p. 3903-3910

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Arash Naeim, Sydney Dy, Karl Lorenz, Homayoon Sanati, Anne Walling, Steven M. Asch

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The experience of patients living with cancer and being treated with chemotherapy often includes the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. To provide a framework for high-quality management of these symptoms, the authors developed a set of key targeted evidence-based standards through an iterative process of targeted systematic review, development, and refinement of topic areas and standards and consensus ratings by a multidisciplinary expert panel as part of the RAND Cancer Quality-Assessing Symptoms Side Effects and Indicators of Supportive Treatment Project. For nausea and vomiting, key clinical standards included screening at the initial outpatient and inpatient visit, prophylaxis for acute and delayed emesis in patients receiving moderate to highly emetic chemotherapy, and follow-up after treatment for nausea and vomiting symptoms. In addition, patients with cancer and small bowel obstruction were examined as a special subset of patients who present with nausea and vomiting. The standards presented here for preventing and managing nausea and vomiting in cancer care should be incorporated into care pathways and should become the expectation rather than the exception.

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