The effect of aromatherapy on haemodialysis patients' pruritus

J Clin Nurs. 2014 Dec;23(23-24):3356-65. doi: 10.1111/jocn.12579. Epub 2014 Mar 20.


Aims and objectives: To determine the effect of aromatherapy on pruritus observed in haemodialysis patients.

Background: Although the prevalence of pruritus in kidney failure has decreased in the recent years, pruritus is a difficult and serious problem which concerns the majority of haemodialysis patents and is hard to cure.

Design: A prospective, pretest-post-test quasi-experimental design was used.

Methods: The research is quasi-experimental clinical trial conducted as pretest and post-test with control groups between January 2011-April 2012, in haemodialysis units of hospitals in Erzurum. The collection of the data is achieved using a questionnaire to detect the patients' individual and pruritus score scale and to clarify certain laboratory parameters regarding the pruritus. Chi-square analysis and t-test are used for the analysis of data.

Results: The experimental group's mean post-test pruritus scores (7·20 ± 3·14) were found to be lower than that of control group patients (10·00 ± 2·47), and a highly significant difference was found between the groups (p < 0·001). In the between-groups comparisons of experimental and control group's laboratory parameters, the experimental group's post-test blood urea nitrogen levels (118·26 ± 36·76) were found to be lower than that of control group patients (138·80 ± 48·69), and the between-groups difference was found to be statistically significant (p < 0·05).

Conclusions: The results demonstrate that aromatherapy was found to decrease the pruritus problem of haemodialyses patients and led to positive changes in some laboratory parameters related to pruritus.

Relevance to clinical practice: One of the roles of health professionals is to advise individuals, who are living on this problem, using the nonpharmacological methods in checking the itching. By preventing or reducing uraemic pruritus, aromatherapy may also improve quality of life in this patient group.

Keywords: Turkey; aromatherapy; haemodialysis; nursing; pruritus.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aromatherapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pruritus / nursing
  • Pruritus / therapy*
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Plant Oils