A review of patient self-report tools for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting

Sarah G. Brearley, Caroline V. Clements, Alexandros Molasiotis

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Goals of work: The assessment of chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting and retching (CINVR) is important and to date no review has comprehensively assessed available patient self-report tools. The aim was to undertake a review of their utility, content and psychometric properties. Materials and methods: One thousand three hundred and forty-seven citations were identified by electronic and hand searches resulting in 24 non-duplicate abstracts, 15 articles for analysis, and six articles, which fitted the inclusion criteria. E-mail investigations discovered a further scale, resulting in seven measures. Results: The review highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of current tools. The multiple domains, phases and aspects of CINVR signify that the assessment tools varied markedly. The diverse requirements of research and clinicians also contribute to the variation. There was a notable disparity in the quality of scales and paucity in terms of their development and psychometric evaluation. We found that several self-assessment scales currently perceived as well-validated tools have problems in terms of their validity, reliability and appropriateness. Conclusions: The constituents of a scale relevant for both clinical and research use were assessed and it was recommended that a modular tool focusing on two domains (nausea and vomiting); two phases (acute and delayed); measuring the aspects of occurrence, frequency, intensity alongside duration and functional interference; and antiemetic use and adverse events should be developed. Based on these recommendations, further research into an appropriate scale would minimise conceptual confusion, increase clinicians' understanding and control of CINVR, decrease patient distress and could have equal utility in both a clinical and a research setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1213-1229
Number of pages17
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotherapy
  • Nausea
  • Retching
  • Self-report tool
  • Vomiting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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