Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

C. Richard Spates

Second Advisor

Andrew Hale

Third Advisor

Chelsea Sage


In the last thirty years, greater attention has been drawn to the aggressive methods of cancer treatment and the aversive conditioned symptoms they come to elicit. Anticipatory nausea and vomiting is one such aversive conditioned side effect and is significantly prevalent in cancer patients who undergo treatments like chemotherapy. In response to the ineffectiveness of pharmacological interventions to control these symptoms, behavioral intervention methods have grown as a topic of research. The implications of these behavioral interventions (including cognitive/attentional distraction, meditation and systematic desensitization) have proven effective in the treatment of the anticipatory nausea and vomiting and reducing patient anxiety. However, the choice of these interventions fails to take into account a patient’s individual characteristics, backgrounds and risk factors. The strength of a patient’s anxiety and preconceived expectations of treatment can also have an effect on the development of ANV and should be considered. Analyzing how anticipatory nausea and vomiting develops and the associated risk factors for its development can establish a better understanding of which intervention will be most effective. A more tailored treatment plan might increase effectiveness and overall quality of treatment for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. In the age of evidence-based practice, when the gold standard randomized control trial speaks only to the most general case, it is appropriate to draw upon suitable case studies to assist adapting empirically supported interventions to the individual case. Such is the aim of this review with respect to selecting the choice of behavioral interventions for ANV.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons