Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the effects of aromatherapy on blood pressure and stress responses of clients with essential hypertension.
Method: There were fifty-two subjects divided into an essential oil group, placebo group, and control group by random assignment. The application of aromatherapy was the inhalation method of blending oils with lavender, ylangylang, and bergamot once daily for 4 weeks. To evaluate the effects of aromatherapy, blood pressure and pulse were measured two times a week and serum cortisol levels, catecholamine levels, subjective stress, and state anxiety were measured before and after treatment in the three groups. Data was analyzed by repeated measures of ANOVA, one-way ANOVA, and chi(2)-test using the SPSS 10.0 program.
Results: The blood pressure, pulse, subjective stress, state anxiety, and serum cortisol levels among the three groups were significantly statistically different. The differences of catecholamine among the three groups were not significant statistically.
Conclusion: The results suggest that the inhalation method using essential oils can be considered an effective nursing intervention that reduces psychological stress responses and serum cortisol levels, as well as the blood pressure of clients with essential hypertension.