Exploring Nurses’ Understanding of Anticipatory Nausea and Vomiting in Patients With Cancer

Anne Ryan

Brendan Noonan

nausea and vomiting, chemotherapy, oncology, Assessment, symptom management
ONF 2019, 46(6), 738-745. DOI: 10.1188/19.ONF.738-745

Purpose: To explore nurses’ self-reported understanding of anticipatory nausea and vomiting (ANV) in patients with cancer.

Participants & Setting: 12 oncology RNs were recruited from University Hospital Limerick in Ireland.

Methodologic Approach: Data were collected via semistructured interviews and analyzed using a qualitative content analysis approach with a focus on the manifest content.

Findings: The following themes were identified: (a) predispositions for and previous experiences with ANV, (b) distinct uncertainties surrounding the prevalence of ANV, (c) individual patient associations with ANV, (d) clear understanding of nausea and vomiting, (e) uncertainty surrounding the management of ANV, and (f) the negative impact of ANV.

Implications for Nursing: Although oncology nurses may understand the importance of assessing and treating patients on an individual basis throughout the course of treatment, formal ANV assessments are warranted to ensure the implementation of best practice. The findings of the current study can guide oncology nurses’ approach to the assessment and management of ANV.

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