Nausea and vomiting are side effects experienced by a large number of patients undergoing chemotherapy. This conditions can be debilitating and thus decrease the quality of life for the cancer patients. Therefore, pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic preventive measures are taken to suppress the effects of this conditions and enable patients to experience less uncomfortable during the treatment processes. While there exist various drugs specified for the treatment of cancer therapy nausea and vomiting (CINV), there are non-pharmacological used to curb the side effects of chemotherapy. Non-pharmacological treatment measures involve the mind and behavioral therapy with the assistant of a qualified therapist. This method can be applied as a preventive measure alongside with anti-emetics for cancer patients anticipating being affected by CINV.
Nursing aims at assisting cancer patients to cope up with the diagnosis by caring for them physically, psychologically, spiritually and emotionally. Non-pharmacological treatment methods include; water massage, Progressive muscle relation, self-hypnosis, music therapy, biofeedback, regular yoga and acupressure done traditionally by the Chinese. Ginger has also proven to be effective on CINV when applied following required procedures (Petchpaisit, 2013) These non-pharmacological help reduce nausea and vomiting by suppressing the behavioral process of classical conditioning (Chik, 2013). The method establishes a sense of relaxation and thus generating the ability to control physical body response aspects where nausea and vomiting are among them. The non-pharmacological treatments such as yoga and music therapy create a distraction to the patients and thus establish an unconscious form of control of the body’s reaction to chemotherapy effects. Music therapy as a non-pharmacological treatment has been attributed to reducing the heart rate and blood pressure, relieving stress, and establishing a sense of well-being. Non pharmacological treatment interventions have decreased side effects and medication costs as compared to the pharmacological treatment methods.
- Chik S., Morrow C. (2013) Effect of water massage on nausea and vomiting in patients with cancer under chemotherapy. European Journal of Cancer Care.
- Petchpaisit Z. (2013) The Effect of ginger on nausea and vomiting in cancer patients under chemotherapy. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand.