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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 111

of 'Prevention and treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in adults'

Behavioural interventions and psychological aspects of care during chemotherapy.
Fallowfield LJ
Eur J Cancer. 1992;28A Suppl 1:S39.
Numerous studies have reported the deleterious impact that the side effects of cytotoxic chemotherapy can exert on the quality of life in patients with cancer. Nausea and vomiting consistently feature as the most distressing aspects of cancer therapy. Uncontrolled emesis can cause patients to abandon treatment and the poor public image of chemotherapy may lead others to refuse treatment altogether. Anticipatory nausea and vomiting can also develop in patients and this may persist for many years after successful completion of treatment. There are several behavioural interventions that are effective in ameliorating or preventing these unpleasant side effects. Consequently, psychological support should be provided as an integral part of good patient management, alongside appropriate antiemetic and anxiolytic drugs. As we can identify the characteristics of those patients more at risk from severe emesis and the development of anticipatory problems, there are good arguments for the most effective drug therapy (rather than the cheapest) being given to them prophylactically, together with relaxation techniques.
Department of Psychiatry, London Hospital Medical College, U.K.