Purpose: Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is a debilitating side effect of chemotherapy, but it may be prevented or mitigated with medications. Uncontrolled CINV can lead to reduced quality of life and can result in increased costs (due to health care utilization and missed work). We prospectively assessed the prevalence and burden of CINV in a US population.
Methods: Final analysis was performed on 178 patients, beginning chemotherapy during 2007-2008 at oncology specialty settings. Patients kept a diary recording use of antiemetic medications just before the start of chemotherapy and use of antiemetic medications, health care resources, and episodes of nausea and vomiting during the 5 days following. In addition, they completed a Functional Living Index-Emesis (FLIE) questionnaire and a Work Productivity and Assessment Inventory-Nausea and Vomiting assessment, to determine the impact of CINV on daily functioning and on work productivity, respectively. Physicians independently recorded prescribed medications and health care utilization.
Results: Of the patients, 61.2% reported experiencing CINV (34.3% with acute CINV and 58.4% with delayed CINV). Based on the FLIE assessment, 37.2% of all patients reported reduced daily functioning, and of those with poorly managed CINV, about 90% reported a significant impact on daily functioning. Total costs due to CINV were on average $778.58 per patient from the day of administration through the 5 days following the first cycle of chemotherapy; patients with more severe CINV typically had higher costs.
Conclusions: CINV remains a significant problem among US patients, suggesting a need for more effective prophylaxis use in clinical practice.