Introduction: Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is a major concern for patients having surgery under general anesthesia as it causes subjective distress along with increased complications and delays in discharge from the hospital. Aromatherapy represents a complementary and alternative therapy for the management of PONV.
Purpose: The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of aromatherapy (QueaseEase, Soothing Scents, Inc, Enterprise, AL) versus an unscented inhalant in relieving PONV.
Methods: One hundred twenty-one patients with postoperative nausea were randomized into a treatment group receiving an aromatic inhaler and a control group receiving a placebo inhaler to evaluate the effectiveness of aromatherapy.
Findings: Initial and follow-up nausea assessment scores in both treatment and placebo groups decreased significantly (P < .01), and there was a significant difference between the two groups (P = .03). Perceived effectiveness of aromatherapy was significantly higher in the treatment group (P < .001).
Conclusions: Aromatherapy was favorably received by most patients and represents an effective treatment option for postoperative nausea.
Keywords: CAM; aromatherapy; complementary therapy; perianesthesia nursing; postoperative nausea; research.
Published by Elsevier Inc.