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  • Author: Steven M. Grunberg x
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Steven M. Grunberg

Although guidelines help physicians deliver high quality clinical care, they will have minimal impact unless familiarity and adherence are achieved. Although nausea and vomiting are highly feared toxicities of chemotherapy that markedly decrease patient quality of life, modifications in physician behavior and improvements in standards of care, particularly in terms of preventing delayed emesis, have been slow. Variations in format, goals, physician education, and institutional education may all affect guideline implementation and state-of-the-art care. The relationship between these factors and the scientific basis of antiemetic guidelines must be considered to achieve optimal results and compliance.

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John M. Salsman, Steven M. Grunberg, Jennifer L. Beaumont, Miriam Rogers, Diane Paul, Marla L. Clayman and David Cella

Despite recent progress, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), especially delayed CINV, continues to be a problem. Delayed CINV is underestimated and perceived differently by providers and patients. Communication between providers and patients about this side effect may help improve outcomes. This study identifies patients’ and providers’ perceptions of management and barriers to quality CINV care. Provider and patient versions of a Nausea and Vomiting Management Barriers Questionnaire were developed to address potential barriers. Providers and patients were given opportunities to add detail in open-ended questions. Providers were recruited through the NCCN and the Oncology Nursing Society mailing lists. Patients who received at least 2 cycles of chemotherapy and experienced CINV were recruited through a consortium of advocacy groups. Both providers (n = 141) and patients (n = 299) completed the survey. Providers (41%) and patients (42%) agreed medication side effects were a concern, but more patients (63%) than providers (36%) tried to limit the number of medications taken (P < .0001). Many providers (67%) spontaneously reported barriers to managing CINV, with financial and patient-related factors among the most common. Few patients (10%) reported cost as a barrier, but 37% endorsed the desire “to be strong by not complaining.” Barriers to communication and quality care of CINV differ between caregivers and patients. Addressing misconceptions and establishing mutually consistent goals will lead to more effective overall care.