Effects of Aromatherapy in Patients with Leukemia: Impact of Gender, Age, and Scent Preference
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Nursing Honors Theses; 2017
Patients newly diagnosed with acute leukemia experience an array of different symptoms throughout their chemotherapy treatments in the hospital. Aromatherapy, the use of essential oils through diffusion, is often used to alleviate some of these symptoms. The purpose of this study was to: (1) to examine the difference in response to aromatherapy in patients with acute leukemia by gender on sleep quality and other common symptoms associated with cancer; (2) to examine the difference in response to aromatherapy in patients with acute leukemia by age on sleep quality and other common symptoms associated with cancer; (3) to determine if there is a difference in response to aromatherapy among patients with leukemia by scent selection. This randomized, cross-over, wash out trial included fifty acute leukemia patients in the hospital for their initial chemotherapy treatments. These patients were all at least eighteen years of age and were offered a choice between three different scents of aromatherapy: lavender, peppermint, or chamomile. Patients were randomized to receive either aromatherapy or placebo during week one. During the second week (washout period), nothing was diffused, and during the third week the opposite intervention was given. Major outcome variables include sleep quality measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and other common cancer side effect symptoms measured by the Edmonton Symptoms Assessment Scale. Patients completed a Final Evaluation of Aromatherapy to evaluate their experience with the aromatherapy. Our results showed us that aromatherapy as a whole had a positive impact on patient experience and managed symptoms well. There was no statistically significant difference between males and females or by age. The lavender scent was most commonly chosen. Overall, aromatherapy has decreased the common symptoms associated with chemotherapy such as insomnia, pain, and anxiety and has increased the patients’ overall wellbeing.
Academic Major: Nursing
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