Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) and adherence to antiemetic guidelines: results of a survey of oncology nurses.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) can be prevented in most patients with use of guideline-recommended antiemetic regimens. However, studies have suggested that adherence to antiemetic guidelines is suboptimal. Oncology nurses, as part of a multidisciplinary team, can help promote appropriate antiemetic prophylaxis. Therefore, nurses were surveyed to assess antiemetic guideline awareness and practice patterns of antiemetic use, determine adherence to guideline recommendations, and query barriers to adherence.


In September 2015, 531 US-based oncology nurses participated in an online survey administered and analyzed by ONS:Edge.


Nurses were most familiar with National Comprehensive Cancer Network (73%) and American Society of Clinical Oncology (48%) antiemetic guidelines. While most (77%) felt that antiemetics prescribed were consistent with guideline recommendations, practice patterns of antiemetic use revealed low adherence to those guidelines, particularly during the delayed (25-120 h) phase following highly emetogenic chemotherapy, where only 25% of nurses reported administration of guideline-recommended agents. Overutilization of phenothiazines and benzodiazepines was common. Only 17% of respondents reported that most (> 75%) of their patients have CINV optimally controlled; 39% reported between 6 and 20% of patients have an alteration in their chemotherapy due to CINV, and reports of emergency department/hospital visits due to poorly controlled CINV were high. The predominant barrier interfering guideline-recommended antiemetic prophylaxis was reported as physician preference (71%).


This survey revealed an opportunity to increase awareness of antiemetic guidelines and a critical need to address barriers interfering with utilization of guideline-recommended antiemetic agents in order to optimize CINV control for patients undergoing emetogenic chemotherapy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Clark-Snow, R; Affronti, ML; Rittenberg, CN

Published Date

  • February 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 26 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 557 - 564

PubMed ID

  • 28871358

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5752733

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1433-7339

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0941-4355

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s00520-017-3866-6


  • eng