Monitoring and evaluation of side effects of chemotherapy in patients with colon cancer

This study aimed to monitor and evaluate the occurrence and intensity level of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea in patients with colon cancer, submitted to outpatient chemotherapy, who received nursing information for handling these symptoms. Study participants were 17 patients, who were treated with 5-Fluorouracil and low doses of folinic acid, at the Adult Outpatient Chemotherapy Clinic of the Hospital São Paulo/Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil. Instruments were elaborated for registering these symptoms' occurrence and intensity level and a patient guide for handling them. The information and patient monitoring were carried out by the nurse during the consultations. The results showed that most of the patients (82.4%) displayed at least one of the signs and symptoms under study between the first and the 21st day of the treatment cycle. Nausea was the most frequent symptom (76.5%), with a peak on the 4th and 5th day of the cycle, followed by diarrhea (70.5%), with a peak on the 7th day, and vomiting (53.0%), with a peak on the 5th day. Regarding the intensity of these symptoms, most patients were classified as level 1, which was established as acceptable for this study. These results indicate that the nursing instructions and the continuous monitoring contributed to the effectiveness of the patient's symptom management.

drug therapy; secondary effect; ambulatory care; patient education; outcome assessment; health care

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