The Effectiveness of Complementary Therapies in Treating Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting

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Angela Asoera
Thomas Schriefer
Maritza Gamboa

Abstract

Four randomized controlled trials and one correlational/ observational study revealed the effectiveness of complementary therapies in the treatment of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). A total of 927 subjects were examined in studies addressing effleurage massage, acupressure, electroacupuncture, and acustimulation as adjuncts to traditional pharmaceutical antiemetic measures. Of these therapies, acustimulation alone failed to meet the standard of statistical significance, yet remains a viable clinical option. Patient expectations played a dual role in the effectiveness of these complementary methods in controlling CINV. Two groups of patients, those patients who expected these therapies to provide relief and those patients who expected severe nausea as a reaction to CINV; achieved better control of nausea and vomiting than those with no such expectations.

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