Prevalence of Chemo-induced Nausea and Vomiting, and Its impact on Patients’ Quality of Life at the Oncology Unit of Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Nausea and vomiting remain among the most distressing side effects of treatment with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy induced emesis (CIE) can impair quality of life (QOL) and poor control of emesis can interrupt or force withdrawal from critical chemotherapy. The prevalence of chemo-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), and its impact on patients’ QOL were not assessed in Ethiopia.The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of CINV, and its impact on patients’ QOL after highly or moderately emetogenic chemotherapy at the oncology unit of Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital (TASH).A descriptive prospective cross sectional study involving interview and case note review were conducted among patients evaluated and treated at oncology unit of TASH. The incidence of CINV and its impact on the patients’ daily life were evaluated using the self-assessment tools. Patients who agreed to participate received a diary covering the day of chemotherapy administration (day 1) and the following 4 days (day 2 through 5). Patients were instructed to use the diary every day to record each emetic episode and to provide daily nausea assessments using a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS) to rate the severity of nausea experienced during the preceding 24 h. Bi variate and Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify determinants of CINV. Independent t- test was used for comparison of group means between highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC) and moderately emetogenic chemotherapy (MEC). Differences in the proportion of patients that reported no impact on daily life (NIDL) between MEC and HEC treated patients were analyzed using X 2 tests (Fisher’s exact test). A total of 220 patients were assessable (74 HEC patients, 146 MEC patients). Emesis was reported by 64.1% of patients (37.3 % acute, 50 % delayed) and nausea by 76.8 % (50.5 % acute, 65.5 % delayed). HEC patients reported significantly lower mean functional living index (FLIE) total score than MEC patients (89.7 v 102.4 respectively; P < .001). Among all patients, the nausea score was significantly lower than the vomiting score (46.5 and 51.6, respectively; p < .001).The prevalence of CINV at oncology unit of TASH was found to be high and it adversely affects patients’ QoL despite antiemetic therapy even after treatment with only moderately emetogenic chemotherapy regimens. On the basis of the FLIE results in this study, nausea had a stronger negative impact on patients’ daily lives than vomiting. Key words: chemo-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC) , moderately emetogenic chemotherapy (MEC). impact on daily life (NIDL) , Functional living index (FLIE),



Chemo-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV); Highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC); Moderately emetogenic chemotherapy (MEC);Impact on daily life (NIDL) ;Functional living index (FLIE)