[not in handout, see e-journal]

Montgomery, GH, & Bovbjerg, DH (1997) The development of anticipatory nausea in patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. Physiology & Behavior, Vol.61, No.5, Pp.737-741. normal www version of this paper gif (log on first for access outside the College.)

Some brief notes and extracts are listed below.

Participants in the study included 82 women diagnosed with Stage I or II breast cancer, status post radical, modified radical, or segmental breast surgery, and scheduled to receive outpatient adjuvant infusions of chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil, and/or adriamycin) on a 3-week cycle as previously detailed

Patients completed study materials in the clinic prior to each of eight consecutively scheduled chemotherapy infusions. Nausea was assessed using 10-cm visual analogue scales (VASs) on which patients were asked to indicate the severity of their nausea by placing a slash across a line that was anchored by "Not at all nauseated," and "As nauseated as I could be." The distance in millimeters from the left end of the line provided the nausea score (range 0100). At each assessment, patients completed separate ratings of the intensity of their nausea for: "Last night at home," "This morning at home," and "Right now." On one occasion, all participants completed a standard demographic questionnaire and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale [11] in order to evaluate possible associations between social desirability and ratings of anticipatory nausea.




In summary, the results of the present study indicate that the development of anticipatory nausea across repeated cycles of chemotherapy was greater for patients' reports of nausea in the clinic than for their reports of nausea earlier in the day or the night before scheduled treatment infusions. This pattern of anticipatory nausea responses is consistent with predictions based on conditioning theory. These results contribute to a growing recognition of the importance of conditioning principles for our understanding of side effects of chemotherapy for cancer and may have implications for the management of side effects secondary to a variety pharmacotherapies in clinical practice.