Objectives: At present, aromatherapy is used widely in medical research. This study aimed to investigate the effects of inhalation aromatherapy using lavender essential oil to reduce mental stress and improve the vital signs of patients after coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG).
Design: A single-blinded randomized controlled trial was conducted with 60 patients who had undergone CABG in a 2-day intervention that targeted stress reduction.
Participants: Sixty subjects following coronary artery bypass surgery in two aromatherapy and control groups.
Setting: The study was conducted in Ekbatan Therapeutic and Educational Center, Hamadan, Iran, in 2013.
Interventions: On the second and third days after surgery, the aromatherapy group patients received two drops of 2% lavender essential oil for 20min and the control group received two drops of distilled water as a placebo.
Main outcome measures: The primary outcome was mental stress, which was measured before and after the intervention using the DASS-21 questionnaire. The secondary outcomes were vital signs, including the heart rate, respiratory rate, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which were measured before and after the intervention.
Results: The individual characteristics of the aromatherapy and control groups were the same. There were no significant difference in the mean mental stress scores and vital signs of the aromatherapy and control groups on the second or third days after surgery.
Conclusion: Inhalation aromatherapy with lavender essential oil had no significant effects on mental stress and vital signs in patients following CABG, except the systolic blood pressure.
Keywords: Aromatherapy; Coronary artery bypass; Lavender; Mental stress; Vital signs.
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