Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) can lead to serious adverse events (AEs) for older adults that could result in hospitalizations. Older adults may be overwhelmed with the amount of information involved with diagnosis and treatment, may not believe their actions will have an impact on symptoms, and tend to adopt a “wait and see” approach to managing AEs. Educational initiatives that tailor symptom management to older adults are necessary to engage and prepare these patients to self-mange CINV at home.

Patricia Geddie, PhD, RN, from Orlando Health Inc., Victoria Loerzel, PhD, RN, from the University of Central Florida (UCF), John Clochesy, PhD, RN, from the University of South Florida, and Anju Chackungal, from UCF, presented their study findings during a poster session at the ONS 42nd Annual Congress in Denver, CO. The poster was titled “Using a Community Advisory Board to Inform Development of a Serious Game for Managing CINV in Older Adults With Cancer.”

The researchers developed community advisory boards that included 14 patients, family members, and nurses to develop a technology-based intervention. They were split into three focus groups.

  • Focus group 1:
    • Used experiential questions based on participants’ role and perspective with CINV.
    • Participants were encouraged to talk specifically about older adults.
    • Common questions were related to suggestions for other older adults to better manage CINV at home.
    • Results were combined with standard CINV interventions and used to guide emerging scenarios for the serious game.
  • Focus group 2:
    • Validated themes from the first focus group.
    • Clarified statements of self-care from first focus group.
    • Determined “dose” of the intervention.
    • Received feedback on emerging scenarios, reality of settings, prescriptions, self-management choices, and CINV outcomes.
    • Results were used to make changes and provide more diversity on self-care options.
  • Focus group 3:
    • Pretested the serious game and received feedback on game consistency, usefulness, engagement, and entertainment factor.
    • Data were used to make final changes to the game that would be used in a randomized, clinical trial.

The researchers found that older adults were more than happy to share their experiences and were eager to have input in developing this game for their peers. However, discrepancies existed between patients, family members, and nurse regarding visual aspects of the game, especially what an older adult under cancer treatment should and does look like.