Background: Based on Iranian traditional medicine, the root cause of anxiety is due to the heart and brain diseases. The use of aromatic substances is one of the basic treatments for the heart and brain diseases in Iranian traditional medicine. Concerning the prevalence of test anxiety among students, this study was conducted to determine the effect of inhalation of essential oils of Polianthes tuberosa on test anxiety among students of Farzanegan high school in Sabzevar during 2015.
Methods: This was a randomized clinical trial, in which 54 students with eligibility criteria were randomly divided into the intervention and control groups. In the pre-test stage, demographic data and Sarason anxiety questionnaires were filled by all students (7th grade). Then, in the intervention stage, students of the intervention group inhaled Tuberose oil using handkerchiefs smeared with Tuberose oil for 15-20 minutes during the exam. The control group received placebo with the same method. At the end of the exam, test anxiety questionnaire was filled by the two groups again. The collected data were analyzed by the statistical tests (i.e. χ2, paired t-test and independent sample t-test) using SPSS 18.
Results: Independent t-test showed a significant difference in the mean scores of test anxiety after intervention between the two groups of study and control (P<0.05), but this difference was not significant before the intervention (P=0.58). Additionally, in the study group, there was a significant difference in the mean scores of test anxiety before and after intervention (P<0.05), but this difference was not significant in the control group (P=0.073).
Conclusion: The result showed that aromatherapy with essential oil of Polianthes tuberosa was effective in reducing test anxiety among students. It is recommended to conduct educational programs concerning this method in schools to decrease the test anxiety of students.
Keywords: Anxiety; Aromatherapy; Medicine; Traditional.