International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 2001
Research suggests that aromatherapy massage (AM) is increasingly being used by cancer patients, especially in the palliative care setting, although few studies have assessed its effectiveness. I wanted to find out whether AM reduces anxiety in patients with a primary malignant brain tumour attending their first follow-up appointment after radiotherapy. Eight patients were recruited to the study, which comprised three methods of data collection: the measurement of physical parameters; the completion of Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales (HADS); and semi-structured interviews. The results from HADS did not show any psychological benefit from AM. However, there was a statistically significant reduction in all four physical parameters, which suggests that AM affects the autonomic nervous system, inducing relaxation. This finding was supported by the patients themselves, all of whom stated during interview that they felt ‘relaxed’ after AM. Since these patients are faced with limited treatment options and a poor prognosis, this intervention appears to be a good way of offering support and improving quality of life.
Hadfield N. The role of aromatherapy massage in reducing anxiety in patients with malignant brain tumours. Int J Palliat Nurs. 2001;7(6):279-285.