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28.05.2018 | Original Article

Impact of radiation-induced nausea and vomiting on quality of life

Zeitschrift:
Supportive Care in Cancer
Autoren:
Caitlin Yee, Leah Drost, Liying Zhang, Bo Angela Wan, Vithusha Ganesh, May Tsao, Elizabeth Barnes, Mark Pasetka, Carlo DeAngelis, Edward Chow

Abstract

Purpose

Radiotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is a common side effect of radiotherapy. It is well-established that nausea and vomiting have a negative impact on quality of life, but the relative influence of each of symptom is infrequently reported. This study aimed to compare the effects of nausea and vomiting on quality of life in cancer patients receiving palliative radiotherapy.

Methods

The Functional Living Index-Emesis (FLIE) is a quality of life questionnaire developed in the chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting setting. The FLIE consists of 18 questions, half of which address nausea and half of which address vomiting. Three prospective studies on the efficacy of various anti-emetic medications conducted at our center used the FLIE to assess radiotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting at various time points during and after palliative radiotherapy. FLIE data from these three studies were combined for the present analysis. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to assess the relationships between nausea and vomiting, time of FLIE completion, and patient-reported quality of life.

Results

Nausea and vomiting scores both decreased patients’ quality of life. Multivariate modeling showed that both symptoms significantly influenced patients’ ability to enjoy meals. Nausea was also associated with increased hardship for the patient, while vomiting imposed more difficulty on the patients’ loved ones.

Conclusions

Nausea and vomiting both significantly influence quality of life. Nausea seems to impact the patient more directly, whereas vomiting affects those closest to the patient.

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