Key words Quality of life
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The purpose was to measure the effects of postchemotherapy nausea and vomiting (PCNV) on health-related quality of life (HQL) in patients receiving either moderately or highly emetogenic chemotherapy. The study sample consisted of 832 chemotherapy-naive patients with cancer who received either moderately or highly emetogenic chemotherapy as part of multicenter trials of new antiemetics. The patients completed the self-report European Organization for Research and Cancer (EORTC) core Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ-C30) before chemotherapy (baseline) and 1 week (day 8) and 2–4 weeks after chemotherapy. They also completed a self-report nausea and vomiting (NV) diary for 5–7 days after chemotherapy. To determine the effects of PCNV on HQL, the change in scores between the baseline and day 8 HQL assessments was calculated for each domain and symptom in the QLQ-C30 and compared in four subgroups of patients: those with both nausea and vomiting, those with nausea but no vomiting, those with no nausea but with vomiting, and those with neither nausea nor vomiting. The group with both nausea and vomiting showed statistically significantly worse physical, cognitive and social functioning, global quality of life, fatigue, anorexia, insomnia and dyspnea as compared to the group with neither nausea nor vomiting (0.0001〈P〈0.05). Patients with only nausea but no vomiting tended to have less worsening in functioning and symptoms than those having both nausea and vomiting. Increased severity of vomiting (〉2 episodes) was associated with worsening of only global quality of life and anorexia as compared with 1–2 episodes of vomiting (0.0001〈P〈0.01). By 2–4 weeks after chemotherapy all HQL scores had either returned to their baseline levels or were better than baseline. PCNV adversely affects several quality-of-life domains, but patients with only nausea experience less disruption than do those with both nausea and vomiting. Patients with 1–2 episodes of vomiting experience almost the same degree of disruption of HQL as do patients with more than 2 episodes of vomiting.
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