Purpose: The purpose of the present study is to describe the incidence and intensity of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) and patterns of symptom change after chemotherapy among Korean cancer patients for whom antiemetic guidelines were widely utilized and guideline-consistent antiemetics were available. The study also aimed to determine the contribution of known risk factors for CINV to the incidence and intensity of CINV, as well as patterns of symptom change. Methods: A prospective observational descriptive study was conducted. A total of 332 adult cancer patients starting their first adjuvant chemotherapy participated in this study. Items of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer Antiemesis Tool were utilized to generate a symptom diary. Descriptive statistics, logistic regression analyses, repeated measures ANOVA, and hierarchical generalized linear models were applied to analyze the data. Results: Vomiting occurred, on average, less than once in the acute and delayed phases, and its frequency remained similar throughout 5 days after chemotherapy infusion in the first and second cycles. A quadratic pattern of nausea change was found. Nausea intensity increased to a peak on the third day after chemotherapy infusion (first-cycle incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.40 and second-cycle IRR = 1.27, both p < .001) and then changed gradually (first-cycle IRR = 0.69 and second-cycle and IRR = 0.76, both p < .001). Nausea experience in the previous cycle contributed to the subsequent nausea intensity (IRR = 2.78, p < .001). Younger age, consuming less alcohol, and expecting nausea were identified as risk factors for chemotherapy-induced nausea that needed to be considered from the start of the chemotherapy. Conclusions: Nausea control, especially in the delayed phase, has room for improvement. As the first chemotherapy-induced nausea experience contributes to subsequent symptom experience, intense control from the start of chemotherapy is necessary while considering patient-related risk factors. Future studies should evaluate the contribution of risk factors when antiemetic prophylaxis is fully provided in multiple settings.
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