The Theory of Unpleasant Symptoms

The proposed study will explore ways to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). Therefore, the use of the theory of unpleasant symptoms is beneficial for the research. The theory of unpleasant symptoms was developed in 1995 by research nurses (Lopes-Júnior, Bomfim, Nascimento, Pereira-da-Silva, & Lima, 2015). According to this theory, three primary factors affect the intensity and quality of a patient’s symptoms and the degree and duration of his or her suffering; these factors are physiological, psychological, and situational. Physiological factors are associated with the ways in which human organisms react when certain types of medications are administered or certain treatment is provided. Psychological factors include previous experiences, current psychological states, and so on (Chitra, 2015). Situational factors make patients experience symptoms differently in different situations. Overall, this theory encourages practitioners to develop non-pharmacological ways to treat a patient’s symptoms. This theory is an effective framework that helps evaluate patient symptoms and determine the most appropriate treatment.

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As mentioned above, the theory of unpleasant symptoms is the most appropriate framework for the proposed study. The theory will help the researcher evaluate symptoms and the major factors affecting their development, which will in turn help determine the most effective preventative treatment. The proposed study will compare the effectiveness of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment of CINV in Hispanic patients. This theoretical framework will enable the researcher to pay attention to all possible outcomes, which will help assess the effectiveness of a particular treatment. Clearly, the intensity and duration of symptoms is only one element that is considered to be psychological, and it is important to note that situational factors should also be taken into account. For instance, non-pharmacological treatments can be associated with more positive attitudes and may be more appreciated in a clinical setting, which is commonly associated with medication and unpleasant symptoms.


Chitra, P. (2015). Application of theory of unpleasant symptoms on impact of chemotherapy adverse effects among children with haemotological and solid tumours. International Journal of Nursing Care, 3(2), 10-13.

Lopes-Júnior, L., Bomfim, E., Nascimento, L., Pereira-da-Silva, G., & Lima, R. (2015). Theory of unpleasant symptoms: Support for the management of symptoms in children and adolescents with cancer. Revista Gaúcha De Enfermagem, 36(3), 109-112.

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