This study was designed to assess the effectiveness of progressive muscle relaxation training (PMRT) in reducing the nausea and vomiting by highly emetogenic chemotherapy in Chinese lung cancer patients.
72 chemotherapy-naive lung cancer patients participated and were divided into two groups. 36 patients in the experimental group received PMRT 1 h before and after chemotherapy with cisplatin for 3 days, and daily thereafter for another 4 days (totally 7 days). Patients received PMRT twice per day and each session lasted for 25 minutes. The instruments used for data collection was MASCC Antiemesis Tool (MAT) which was used daily for the 7 post-chemotherapy days.
The use of PMRT considerably decreased the vomiting episodes and nausea intensity in the experimental group compared with the control group in the delayed phase (P<0.01), whereas there were no differences in acute phase. Neither nausea nor vomiting differed in incidents between the two groups in the acute and delayed phases .
Such findings suggest that PMRT is a useful technique in the delayed phase to reduce nausea and vomiting by highly emetogenic chemotherapy. Incorporating the interventions into the care plan can improve symptom management of cancer patients who experience gastrointestinal side effects of chemotherapy.