Randomized trial of essential oils to reduce perioperative patient anxiety: feasibility study

Stirling, Laura, Raab, Gillian, Alder, Elizabeth M and Robertson, Fiona (2007) Randomized trial of essential oils to reduce perioperative patient anxiety: feasibility study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 60 (5). pp. 494-501. ISSN 0309-2402

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Aim. This paper is a report of a feasibility study to examine the effectiveness of essential oils in reducing anxiety in thoracic patients awaiting the results of investigative and staging surgery.

Background. Patient anxiety is expected during the perioperative period. Anxiety places the patient at greater risk of adverse clinical outcomes. Nurses are limited in therapeutic options that can be used to address anxiety in the limited time available. Complementary therapies have been tested for therapeutic benefit but the evidence is weak.

Method. Patients admitted to a thoracic unit for bronchoscopy/mediastinoscopy in 2005 and 2006 were invited to participate in this double-blind controlled trial and randomized to receive study oil (A), neutral oil (B) or no intervention (C). Intervention was controlled by the patient at home after the procedure. The State Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale were used to measure baseline and periodic anxiety status (days 3, 21).

Findings. Of the 142 patients approached to participate, 71 (50%) agreed to take part. There were high and fluctuating levels of perioperative anxiety in the thoracic patient group, but no evidence that this was reduced by the absorption and inhalation of essential oils.

Conclusion. The study did not provide evidence that the essential oils could reduce anxiety in this group of patients. Both recruitment rates and compliance rates were lower than anticipated. Logistic factors in the setting of diagnostic process for an acute condition may have contributed to these results. More stable settings would be better suited to evaluating such interventions.

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 0309-2402
Electronic ISSN: 1365-2648
Uncontrolled Keywords: Essential oils; Thoracic surgery; Perioperative; Patient anxiety; Complementary therapies
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Health, Life & Social Sciences > School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health > 615 Pharmacology & therapeutics
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health > 617 Surgery & related medical specialties
Library of Congress Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Item ID: 1608
Depositing User: RAE Import
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2008 16:25
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2013 13:49

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