Implementation of best practice for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in an acute care setting


Professor Eui Geum Oh, College of Nursing, Yonsei University, 250 Sungsan-Ro, Seodaemun-Gu, Seoul, Korea, 120-752. Email:


Background  Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is the commonest side-effect for patients undergoing cancer treatment with chemotherapy. These symptoms can lead to nutritional deficiencies, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, and negative impacts on quality of life. However, wide gaps exist between clinician and patient perceptions of nausea and vomiting. Effective communication about these symptoms is essential for proper treatment. We conducted a recent chart review to identify gaps in practice regarding chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting assessment and documentation.

Aim  The goal of this project was to improve local practice in the management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in patients with cancer.

Methods  This study used one pre- and two post-implementation audit strategies utilising the Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System (JBI-PACES) and Getting Research into Practice (GRiP) module. The study was conducted in the 33-bed oncology ward of a large acute care hospital in Korea from February 2010 to June 2010. To facilitate evidence-based nursing practice, audit–feedback–re-audit cycles strategies were used. The audits included four criteria recommended by the Joanna Briggs Institute.

Results  There were statistically significant improvements in all four criteria. The first post-implementation audit showed that all four audit criteria rated >50% in compliance. At the second follow-up audit, all four audit criteria rated 100% compliance, indicating excellent compliance with best practice. The differences between the pre- and post-data were statistically significant (P < 0.001) for all four audit criteria.

Conclusions  The results indicate that the pre- and post-implementation audits are an effective method in improvement of assessment, documentation and evidence-based nursing implementation for cancer symptom management.