Use of aromatherapy with hospice patients to decrease pain, anxiety, and depression and to promote an increased sense of well-being

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2002 Nov-Dec;19(6):381-6. doi: 10.1177/104990910201900607.


This study measured the responses of 17 cancer hospice patients to humidified essential lavender oil aromatherapy. Vital signs as well as levels of pain, anxiety, depression, and sense of well-being were measured (using 11-point verbal analogs). Each subject was measured on three different days before and after a 60-minute session consisting of (1) no treatment (control); (2) water humidification (control); or (3) 3-percent lavender aromatherapy. Results reflected a positive, yet small, change in blood pressure and pulse, pain, anxiety, depression, and sense of well-being after both the humidified water treatment and the lavender treatment. Following the control session (no treatment), there was also slight improvement in vital signs, depression, and sense of well-being, but not in pain or anxiety levels.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Aromatherapy*
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hospice Care / methods
  • Humans
  • Lavandula*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Pain Management*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Southeastern United States


  • Plant Oils