A pilot study of the use of progressive muscle relaxation training in the management of post-chemotherapy nausea and vomiting

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The aim of this pilot study was to assess the effectiveness of using progressive muscle relaxation training (PMRT) in the management of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in Chinese breast cancer patients receiving doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide as well as feasibility issues for a larger study. Eight patients were randomly assigned to receive either oral anti-emetics as per hospital protocol (maxolon) or adjuvant PMRT. Both groups, however, received intravenous anti-emetics half an hour before the chemotherapy administration. PMRT was given by a trained nurse once a day for 5 days. A repeated measures design was used. Nausea and vomiting were assessed with the Morrow Nausea and Vomiting Scale. Results indicated that the duration and intensity of nausea were lower in the experimental group, although the former was at a borderline level of significance. The duration and intensity of vomiting were also lower in the experimental group. Delayed nausea and vomiting was observed in both groups. Despite the small sample size, the study showed that PMRT is an effective adjuvant method to decrease nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients. This has implications for nursing practice, as it is a low-cost and easy-to-learn technique that can be incorporated in the care planning of patients receiving chemotherapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-234
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Active relaxation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Chinese
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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