COSMIN database

Tools for assessing nausea, vomiting, and retching

Wood, J. M., Chapman, K., and Eilers, J.
BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting, and retching are recognized as having an impact on patients' overall physical well-being, quality of life, and treatment decisions. Although there are many tools available to measure aspects of these symptoms, few offer a complete and concise clinical assessment.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article was to provide a comprehensive overview of the various instruments available for the assessment of cancer-related nausea, vomiting, and retching. Analysis included symptoms measured, period evaluated, type of questions posed, and aspects of each symptom measured.

METHODS: Searches were conducted to find relevant articles using nationally recognized oncology Web sites and 4 electronic databases including PubMed, MEDLINE/CINAHL and CINAHL/EBSCO, and Cochrane.

RESULTS: This review includes a total of 25 instruments that were identified as meeting the inclusion criteria of having been developed, or adapted, for the adult population, with an oncology focus.

CONCLUSION: The ideal instrument would include measurement of all 3 symptoms while remaining clear, concise, and clinically relevant.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Although only 1 instrument came close to meeting these criteria, this review provides nurses with specific information on a variety of instruments to assist providers in selecting the most appropriate instrument for their specific clinical setting. This comprehensive critique of instruments is important for nurses attempting to select a tool to guide optimum care for patients in the clinical setting.
Cancer Nurs
1538-9804 (Electronic)
Publication year:
Biological and physiological variables:
Biological and physiological variables
Symptom status:
Physical state
Adults (18-65)
Seniors (65+)
Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes
Neoplasms and related symptoms
PRO / non-PRO:
Non-patient Reported Outcome
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
6 - Clinical rating scales
ASDS-2 - Adapted Symptom Distress Scale-modified
Behaviour observation
EORTC QLQ-C30 - European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaires Core-30 item (versions: EORTC QLQ-C24)   
ESAS - Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (versions: ESAS-PD - ESAS-Parkinson's Disease)
FACT-G - Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General
FLIC - Functional Living Interview questionnaire for Cancer
FLIE - Functional Living Index-Emesis (Also modified version)
INVR - Index of Nausea, Vomiting, and Retching
MANE - Morrow Assessment of Nausea and Emesis
MASCC - Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
MAT - MASCC Antiemesis Tool
MDASI - MD Anderson Symptom Inventory
MSAS - Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (modifications exist for family caregivers and for hospice staff)
MSAS-SF - Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale-Short Form
Nausea Profile
Nausea Questionnaire
NCI-CTC - National Cancer Institute - Common Toxicity Criteria
NRI - Nausea Rating Index
NRS - Numeric Rating Scale (versions: NRS-6; NRS-11; NRS-21)   
NV5 - Osoba Nausea and Emesis module
ONI - Overall Nausea Index;
RSCL-M - Modified version of Rotterdam Symptom Checklist   
SEI - Symptom Experience Index;
SF-36 - 36-item Short Form Health Survey [alias: RAND-36][alias: Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) SF-36]]    |  | also see:
Symptom Experience Scale