Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine if aromatherapy acupressure, compared to acupressure alone, was effective in reducing hemiplegic shoulder pain and improving motor power in stroke patients.
Design: This work was a randomized, controlled trial.
Subjects: Thirty (30) stroke patients with hemiplegic shoulder pain participated in this study.
Intervention: Subjects were randomly assigned to either an aromatherapy acupressure group (N = 15) or an acupressure group ( N = 15), with aromatherapy acupressure using lavender, rosemary, and peppermint given only to the former group. Each acupressure session lasted 20 minutes and was performed twice-daily for 2 weeks.
Outcomes measures: Shoulder pain and motor power were the outcome measures used in this study.
Results: The pain scores were markedly reduced in both groups at post-treatment, compared to pretreatment (both aroma acupressure and acupressure group, p < 0.001). A nonparametric statistical analysis revealed that the pain score differed significantly between the 2 groups at post-treatment ( p < 0.01). The motor power significantly improved at post-treatment, compared to pretreatment, in both groups ( p < 0.005). However, there was no intergroup difference between two groups.
Conclusions: These results suggest that aromatherapy acupressure exerts positive effects on hemiplegic shoulder pain, compared to acupressure alone, in stroke patients.