Background: Pruritus is one of the commonest problems in patients with end-stage renal failure undergoing hemodialysis. Pruritus is an irritating symptom which can directly affect the life quality of patients with chronic renal failure. However, available treatments have failed to relieve the symptom and kidney transplant remains the definite treatment of the problem. A recently proposed treatment for pruritus is the use of complementary medicine. Thus, the aim of this research is to study the effect of aromatherapy on pruritus relief in hemodialysis patients.
Methods: The study is a pre- and post-clinical trial, carried out in dialysis centers of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in 2009. Sample was performed using convenient sampling method and the participants were selected from among the patient who received hemodialysis three times a week for 3-5 hours and had pruritus scores above 3. All the participants received seven minutes of hand massage in the non-fistulated hand with 3-5 ml of lavender, mint, and tea tree oils at 5% concentration for six sessions (two weeks). The data of the study were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics by SPSS software, version 16.
Results: Twenty patients with end-stage renal failure who had pruritus fulfilled the course of the study. Data analysis indicated that aromatherapy significantly relieved pruritus (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Aromatherapy can significantly relieve pruritus in hemodialysis patients.
Keywords: Aromatherapy; hemodialysis; pruritus.