Effect of Lavender Cream with or without Foot-bath on Anxiety, Stress and Depression in Pregnancy: a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial

J Caring Sci. 2015 Mar 1;4(1):63-73. doi: 10.5681/jcs.2015.007. eCollection 2015 Mar.


Introduction: Psychological disorders are associated with maternal and neonatal morbidities. We aimed to evaluate the effect of Lavender cream with or without foot-bath on depression, anxiety and stress of pregnant women.

Methods: In this trial, 141 women at 25 to 28 weeks gestation were randomly assigned into three groups (47 at each group); receiving Lavender cream with foot-bath, only Lavender cream, or placebo, 2g every night for two months. Depression, anxiety and stress were assessed at baseline, and 4(th) and 8(th) weeks after intervention, using DASS-21. General linear model was used to compare the groups.

Results: There were three losses to follow-up at the 4(th) and one more at the 8(th) week. Scores of all three outcomes in both Lavender and foot-bath and only Lavender groups were significantly lower than those in the placebo group at the 8(th) week; adjusted difference of depression score -3.3, 95% confidence interval -4.6 to -1.9;-2.4, -3.7 to -1.0, respectively, anxiety score -1.4, -2.6 to -0.2; -1.7,-2.9 to -0.5 and stress score -3.1, -4.7 to -1.5; -2.7, -4.3 to -1.1. At the 4(th) week, only score of anxiety in the lavender group (-2.3, -3.9 to -0.8) and stress in the both groups (-2.3, -4.1 to -0.5; -1.9, -3.7 to -0.1) were significantly less than those in the placebo group. There were not statistically significant differences between the two experimental groups in terms of the outcomes.

Conclusion: Lavender cream with foot-bath or alone can be used for pregnant women for reducing their stress, anxiety and depression.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Foot-bath; Lavendula; Pregnancy; stress.