Anticipatory nausea and vomiting in an ambulatory medical oncology population

J. H. Fetting, P. M. Wilcox, B. A. Iwata, E. L. Criswell, L. S. Bosmajian, V. R. Sheidler

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29 Scopus citations


We studied the prevalence of anticipatory nausea (AN) and anticipatory nausea and vomiting (ANV) in an ambulatory medical oncology population by self-report questionnaire over 7 weeks. Thirty-eight of 123 (31%) patients receiving parenteral chemotherapy reported anticipatory symptoms (AN or ANV). Twenty-one (17%) patients reported ANV and 17 (14%) reported AN only. Patients receiving parenteral chemotherapy (N = 123) with anticipatory symptoms (N = 38) were younger (45.1 ± SE 1.9 vs 55.5 ± 1.45, P < 0.001) and more likely to be female (82% vs 61%, P = 0.04), unmarried (47% vs 26%, P = 0.03), and receiving adjuvant chemotheray for breast cancer (42% vs 7% P < 0.001) than patients without anticipatory symptoms (N = 85). A greater proportion of patients with both postchemotherapy nausea and vomiting and anticipatory symptoms reported > 12 hours of postchemotherapy nausea (65% vs 39%, P = 0.01) and postchemotherapy nausea and vomiting (37% vs 12%, P = 0.01) after their most recent cycle of chemotherapy than did patients with postchemotherapy symptoms only. In structured interviews with 23 patients with anticipatory symptoms, 16 identified specific stimuli associated with AN and ANV, taste being the most frequently mentioned (ten of 16 patients) sensory modality. In our clinic, patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer develop anticipatory symptoms frequently and represent a relatively homogenous sample for further studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1098
Number of pages6
JournalCancer treatment reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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