Background: Anxiety is an important mental health problem in patients with cardiac disease. Anxiety reduces patients' quality of life and increases the risk of different cardiac complications.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of inhalation aromatherapy on anxiety in patients with myocardial infarction.
Patients and methods: This was a randomized clinical trial conduced on 68 patients with myocardial infarction hospitalized in coronary care units of a large-scale teaching hospital affiliated to Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran in 2013. By using the block randomization technique, patients were randomly assigned to experimental (33 patients receiving inhalation aromatherapy with lavender aroma twice a day for two subsequent days) and control (35 patients receiving routine care of study setting including no aromatherapy) groups. At the beginning of study and twenty minutes after each aromatherapy session, anxiety state of patients was assessed using the Spielberger's State Anxiety Inventory. Data was analyzed using SPSS v. 16.0. We used Chi-square, Fisher's exact, independent-samples T-test and repeated measures analysis of variance to analyze the study data.
Results: The study groups did not differ significantly regarding baseline anxiety mean and demographic characteristics. However, after the administration of aromatherapy, anxiety mean in the experimental group was significantly lower than the control group.
Conclusions: Inhalation aromatherapy with lavender aroma can reduce anxiety in patients with myocardial infarction. Consequently, healthcare providers, particularly nurses, can use this strategy to improve postmyocardial infarction anxiety management.
Keywords: Anxiety; Aromatherapy; Lavender; Myocardial Infarction.