Effectiveness of aroma massage on advanced cancer patients with constipation: a pilot study

Lai TK, Cheung MC, Lo CK, Ng KL, Fung YH, Tong M, Yau CC
Complementary Therapy in Clinical Practice, 2011


The purpose of this study was to verify the effect of aroma massage on constipation in advanced cancer patients.

This study employed a randomized control group pre- and post test design and included an aroma massage group, plain massage group, and control group. To evaluate the effect of aromatherapy, the degree of constipation was measured using a constipation assessment scale, severity level of constipation and the frequency of bowel movements. Data was analyzed by repeated measures of Mann-Whitney U test, Wilcoxon signed ranks test, Spearman’s rho and ANOVA using SPSS program.

The score of the constipation assessment scale of the aroma massage group was significantly lower than the control group. Apart from the improvement in bowel movements, the results showed significantly improved quality of life in physical and support domains of the aroma massage group.

The findings of this study suggest aroma massage can help to relieve constipation in patients with advanced cancer.


Lai TK, Cheung MC, Lo CK, et al. Effectiveness of aroma massage on advanced cancer patients with constipation: a pilot study. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011;17(1):37-43.

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