Objective: To characterise current management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in Spain, as well as professional adherence to antiemetic guidelines.
Materials and methods: Retrospective observational study. A multicenter has been designed including 360 patient case files from 18 hospitals. The involvement of pharmacists and nurses was studied, and also indicators of structure, process, and selected outcomes previously recruited from antiemetic guidelines.
Results: We found 94.4% of hospitals used a written protocol for managing chemotherapyinduced nausea and vomiting and only 44.4% had educational programs for patients regarding this. Patients were prescribed antiemetic prophylactic treatment for delayed emesis in varying degree between highly and moderately emetogenic chemotherapy (77.8% and 58.9%, respectively). Dexamethasone was the most prescribed antiemetic drug for patients receiving highly and moderately emetogenic chemotherapy (98.3% and 90%, respectively), followed by ondansetron (68.9% and 95%, respectively). Nursing was more involved than pharmacy units in evaluating emetic risk factors in patients (64.7% vs 21.4%), and tracking symptom onset (88.2% vs 57.1%) and adherence to treatment (94.1% vs 28.6%). Pharmacy units were more involved than nursing in choosing the antiemetic treatment (78.6% vs 47%).
Conclusions: Although antiemetic guidelines were used by all hospitals, there were differences in management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.