Halm MA, Baker C, Harshe V
Journal of Holistic Nursing, 2014
This pilot study compared the effects of an essential oil mixture versus standard care on skin reactions in breast cancer patients receiving radiation.
Using an experimental design, 24 patients were randomized to standard care (i.e., RadiaPlexRx™ ointment) or an essential oil mixture. Products were applied topically three times a day until 1 month postradiation. Weekly skin assessments were recorded and women completed patient satisfaction and quality of life (QOL) instruments at 3-, 6-, and 10-week intervals.
No significant differences were found for skin, QOL, or patient satisfaction at interim or follow-up time points. Effect sizes were as follows: skin = .01 to .07 (small-medium effect); QOL = .01 to .04 (small effect); patient satisfaction = .02 (small effect).
The essential oil mixture did not provide a better skin protectant effect than standard care. These findings suggest the essential oil mixture is equivalent to RadiaPlexRx, a common product used as standard care since it has been shown to be effective in protecting skin from radiation. Thus, this pilot provides evidence to support botanical or nonpharmaceutical options for women during radiotherapy for breast cancer.
Halm MA, Baker C, Harshe V. Effect of an Essential Oil Mixture on Skin Reactions in Women Undergoing Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer: A Pilot Study. J Holist Nurs. 2014; doi:10.1177/0898010114527184.